OT: politics

Posted by: ringmir

OT: politics - 07/15/04 02:57 PM

Republicans are a$$e$. Democrats are sissies. Green party members should smoke less of the green stuff.

There, go to town boys.
Posted by: ringmir

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:01 PM

Ok so here's a question for everyone, clearly fox and cnn are not the best place to get news, at least not as your only source. Where do people get news? I read cnn online pretty frequently, I also read the bbc online and the local papers.
Posted by: BBIBH

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:07 PM

You have several valid points.

Has anyone noticed how the center channel dialogue on Fox is about -3db less than CNN? I also find a blurring of details from the surrounds during the ending musical piece (Mozart??) when played via my Axioms, connected to the Moon Attraction pre/pro.

...sorry...could not resist the thread-jacking!!!
Posted by: ringmir

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:09 PM

please feel free to thread jack over here all you want.
I don't plan on reading this thread too intently. That's why I started it, so I could easily tell what to avoid.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:10 PM

I get a lot of my news from http://www.metafilter.com. It's a weblog where members post links to articles and then discuss them. There are plenty of people on both sides of the issues, and the discussions are usually civil and informative.

I also listen to NPR.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:12 PM

the onion is 100% true.. NOT.. but funny, check it out..

i actually get most of my news from the newspaper.. seems old fashioned, but the AP is not as influenced by advertising. CNBC is ok, cnn is bad, fox is worse, and the networks just wanna show what will SHOCK you and keep you watching.

bigjohn
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:14 PM

I get virtually all of my news from NPR (yes, I know there is a slant, but it's more complete news than you'll get off the TV or from the AM newsradio stations). There. Call me a biased liberal.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:19 PM

I get my news from multiple sources (local paper mainly, tv news, web sources, etc...) and then read between the lines on all of them.
TV news is particularly good (providing they don't cut things up) for providing briefings, press conferences, etc... all great primary sources.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:30 PM

Mostly BBC online now. I still frequent cnn.com sometimes though. In print, I read TIME.

NPR isn't as slanted as most people say. I think it's pretty even. It's just that most of the major media outlets are leaning so far to one side that it makes the middle ground seem slanted.




Posted by: James_T

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:35 PM

I am a biased liberal too! Of course I live in San Francisco, so that is not really a surprise is it?
Though I claim to make an effort to read between the lines and have some leanings towards libertarianism in the sense of personal responsibility. It works in my head even if they seem to contradict each other on paper!
I mostly get my news from NPR in the morning and the web the rest of the day. I have tried to listen to more of the talk shows (liberal and conservative), but so often it's just shouting and yelling and no real discussion going on. If I want to watch men and women act like 8 yr olds I'll become a schoolteacher. I rarely finish listening and think I have learned something new.

jr

Posted by: md55

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:51 PM

I have my home page set at Google news. Usually multiple sources for each storyline. If something interests me further I will search the topic. I like to get different points of view from around the world. Its funny these days where stories come from. I wanted to see a what happened in the Masters golf tournament a while back and the New Delhi Times was the only one carrying it. Aljazeera and the Jeruselem Post, BBC World, Reuters, all good for differnt takes.

Ever have the opportunity to read newspaper stories about something you have first hand knowledge of? Generally not all that accurate at daily reporting in my experience.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 03:59 PM

I'm another Google news fan. I keep an icon on my desktop which takes me right there. I do watch TV network news, read the morning newspaper, and read TIME. I don't believe there is any "unbiased" reporting, so I do my best to gather the facts from as many different sources as possible, and sorta figure things out for myself as much as I can.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 05:27 PM

In reply to:

I do my best to gather the facts from as many different sources as possible, and sorta figure things out for myself as much as I can.


If only the average citizen did as much.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 05:35 PM

Hey, how come this dedicated politics thread is so civil?

Here's something to start a fire:

July 14, 2004 -- Commentator Connie Rice shares another one of her ever-popular top-10 lists: "Top 10 Weapons of Mass Distraction."

Number 10: Corporate Show Trials

Watching Martha, Ken and the Fastows doing the perp walk is a great diversion from the real crime. These show trials divert our focus to a few criminal acts from what's really wrong -- rules written by corporate lobbyists that legalized corporate tax evasion, corporate welfare, corporate pollution and looting.

Number 9: Donald Trump's TV Show The Apprentice

It's got us focused on Trump as this financial wizard and corporate titan -- someone people would kill off their competition to work for. In real life, his casinos are on the verge of bankruptcy and receivership.

Number 8: Bush's Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

You'd think that marriage were somehow in imminent danger from gay infidels. But this is nothing more than a cynical wedge issue to increase the voter turnout of Christian evangelicals and cover broad failures of the Bush administration -- three million jobs lost, the biggest deficits in U.S. history, a failed war in Iraq and Osama bin Laden stronger than ever. GOP operatives manufacture a fake constitutional crisis over imaginary gay insurgents, and they aim for the brain stem so that we won't think about the bigger failures.

Number 7: Tom Ridge's Terror Alerts

No one knows what they mean. The last one warning that Bin Laden intends to attack this summer made no sense -- except to disrupt the Kerry-Edwards rollout. They are now rolling out plans for postponing the November election if an attack occurs.

Number 6: Rush Limbaugh

He's a masterful circus barker so skilled that he can seduce millions into surrendering their privacy rights under the USA Patriot Act. At the same time, he and the ACLU fight to keep his own medical records from a criminal drug investigation.

Number 5: Tax Cuts

The Bush administration has average Americans believing they are overtaxed and will benefit from cuts -- cuts that go overwhelmingly to folk richer than them, and result in cuts in services that they need but the rich don't.

Number 4: Ralph Nader

The only issue discussed is his "spoiler" role, the only people funding his candidacy are pro-Bush Republicans and the only outcome of his run is that the people he claims to care about -- the poor and the dispossessed -- will be devastated if Bush gets four more years to practice his "compassion."

Number 3: The Cult of Celebrity and Entertainment

We're laughing and entertaining ourselves to death. While our kids watch eight hours of TV a day, and more adults vote for the next American Idol than do for the next president, our democracy is being looted by superpower corporations and other high-octane interests.

Number 2: The Invasion of Iraq

There clearly was no reason to invade, other than to hide the fact bin Laden still hasn't been captured, and likely to remain so -- and the fact that Bush needed to kick any Arab butt he could to show that America hits back. Hussein's butt was the only one he could safely kick, so he did. Meanwhile, the war against al Qaeda flounders while the United States diverts its resources to the Iraq quagmire.

Number 1: The Republican Convention Lineup

They're going to dig up the few moderates (including Guiliani, Schwarzenegger, McCain and Romney) and black people they know and put them on TV, along with a whole bunch of black and Latino musical acts, to hide the real face of the GOP and its reactionary platform. The last convention looked like Saturday night at the Apollo -- there were more black people on stage than in the entire convention.

taken from npr.org
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 05:48 PM

HERE!! HERE!!

now thats some good political humor..

oh wait, was it meant to be a joke?? i know a lot of republicans that hope so.. else-wise, they been dupped!!

bigjohn
Posted by: mwc

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 05:59 PM

If getting your news from NPR means you're a biased liberal then call me one too. At least when there is a commentary slant on NPR it's out in the open.

If you want to see an extreme example of media slant, check out the psudo-news on Pat Robertson's 700 Club just for grins. It is a hoot.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 06:10 PM

Hmmm, did I say start a fire? Well, here's something that will start a firestorm if it's true (I really, really, really hope none of it is true):

Seymour Hersch has seen taped video footage of US soldiers sodomizing Iraqi children

The commentary on the linked page is good and some of it points to corroborating evidence. You can also see his speech about 1h:30m into the video clip.

Personally, I am speechless and can only hope this didn't happen.
Posted by: James_T

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 06:23 PM

I saw that link on Metafilter and nearly crapped myself. I pray to god/allah/buddha/cows/trees that it's not true. I seriously nearly shed a tear just considering the idea.

jr
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 07:28 PM

I should use a picture of Steven when he's sad and alternate my avatar depending on the tone of the post.... That one needs a very sad Steven.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 11:44 PM

RE:

In reply to:


July 14, 2004 -- Commentator Connie Rice shares another one of her ever-popular top-10 lists: "Top 10 Weapons of Mass Distraction."

...




All I can say to all of that is:

Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.



Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/15/04 11:52 PM

oh ya... I try to listen to NPR but honestly, I usually only catch it when they have some COMPLETELY boring and uninspiring show on about nothing.

I definitely lean right, however I don't like to consider myself Republican, actually I don't like any party out there. I do enjoy most AM radio from Hanity to O'Reily to Alan Colms, but Glenn Beck is my favorite. That said I rarely 100% agree with any of them, but that would be impossible to do anyway.

And I've heard/read plenty of things that make me believe that the Kerry would be the worst thing to ever happen to our country. Al Gore is now proving WHY he did not deserve to be our President as well. We dodged the perverbial bullet there! The second thing that crossed my mind on 911 was how lucky we were that Gore did not win that election!

And it's sad to see that many ppl don't understand how important it is to not only our country but stability in the middle east in general that we took out Saddam. The reason 911 happened was that we did nothing until it was too late.
Posted by: Hawkson101

Re: OT: politics - 07/16/04 04:39 PM

I read yahoo news which is basically AP, reuters and some newspaper articles.

I absolutely hate fox and about every other show on CNN. MSNBC is IMO as even as it gets. Fox really isn't a news station because it is all opinion. CNN offers news but sometimes it does exactly what Fox does-offers opinions and not news.

I dislike Bill O'reily and his style immensly.


When did reporting the news mean having two opposing views talking about one issue? Thats not news because no one learns anything.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/16/04 05:20 PM

Bush didn't to anything productive to avenge us or make us safer after 9/11. Sure he went into Afghanistan and found a couple al Qaeda members. If he really wanted to avenge us or make us safer, why did he send so few troops there to search for bin Laden, who is still at large?

But he then shifted gears completely to focus on Iraq and Saddam -- who didn't even have the power or the means to bother surrounding countries, let alone us.

Another point that bother me to no end is people saying Gore would have done worse. The fact is, we DON'T KNOW that. It's all speculation. I cetrainly don't think he was prime presidential material, but I have a feeling his actions and motivations wouldn't have had big business, money, and greed written all over them.

Face it, war is good business for a lot of people with friends in high places.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/16/04 06:38 PM

pmb, I think that is a seriously flawed view of US foreign policy. Even when used to interpret US motivations in Vietnam, it doesn't hold water.

To assert that Bush's motivations, post 9-11 - after an attack on US soil that killed more Americans than the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor - have been based on a desire to enrich corporate America, is absurd. Conservatives are often accused of being simple-minded, but to view the actions of Bush's administration through the "corporate greed paradigm", forsaking all other evidence, is the epitome of simple-mindedness.

Bush's career will be over in 1-5 years. His only motivation, other than doing what he thinks is best for America, is likely, "What will my legacy be in the annals of American history?"

Take a step back, consider the BS those hippies have been feeding y'all up there, and think things through. We have enemies that mean us harm, have done us harm. At what point is it OK to fight back? Afghanistan was a resounding success, but the hippies railed against that action, as well.

And Iraq is neither a quagmire nor a disaster, no matter how many times media members declare it to be so. The military kicked some serious booty, in a hurry, and did so with too few soldiers.

The enemy that remains, since the close of open hostilities has generally coordinated one attack a day. Why? So that our idiot left-leaning media has something to report, some fire and blood and carnage to plaster on everybody's TVs each night.

I'm voting Bush, but even if Kerry wins, the mission to protect America from future attacks will continue. Everybody who has watched developments in the Middle East for the last 30 years, knows that to do nothing will be certain disaster for us.

And Osama's likely to be found in Pakistan, protected by anti-American fanatics. That the gov't of Pakistan is so unstable as to be unwilling to capture him (yet tenuously possesses atomic weapons) is more than a little disconcerting. Iran is continuing with their nuclear weapons program. It ain't a pretty picture that's shaping up.

I'm afraid that in some years from now the 900 brave souls we've lost in Iraq will seem very few compared to the number lost to acts of terrorism here in our own country. If Osama (or any of those other nuts) had a nuke would he have used it? Of course. What plan do you feel be best for preventing terrorists from obtaining WMD or from using them against us? I think that some of the folks in your neck of the woods WANT us to get attacked (including my unabashedly communist sister in the Redwood Empire ), want int'l trade to stop, want the domestic economy to stop, and have all of us go back to hunting, gathering and using seashells for currency.

I forgot one other source of info - the men and women who come home from Iraq. What are they saying about our efforts in Iraq? Don't hear many of their comments on the news, do you?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/16/04 07:01 PM

I'm glad we finally have a thread for this as I don't have to feel guilty for ranting.

BigWill, you took my hastily added closing statement and disregarded the rest of my argument. Sure, I know Bush has more than just money in mind. After all, he's a citizen too and doesn't want the country to be attacked any more than you or I do. Nobody really wants to go back to hunting, gathering, and seashells.

But why is it that his policies and tax cuts result in the tossing of nickles at the feet of us middle class folk while the top 1% get billions and billions? I am a firm believer in the "everyone does better when EVERYONE does better" idea as being a guiding principle of government. That includes healthcare, jobs, a better-regulated welfare system, not bombing foreign countries and killing innocent civilians, working with the international community on issues of international concern, etc.

The best way to enjoy safety is not to give people reasons to hate us. I guarantee you the foreign policy of this country, as of late, has gotten us more enemies than admirers. We are not safer; our enemies are just harder to count.


Oh, and for someone leaning far to the right, the middle -- relatively speaking -- looks like it's left-leaning. The same can be spoken of left-leaners, of course. Don't be so quick to toss people into one bin or the other.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/16/04 07:03 PM


Posted by: James_T

Re: OT: politics - 07/16/04 07:15 PM

You have now reached ueberaffentittengeil status Peter!

Haha.

jr
Posted by: ringmir

Re: OT: politics - 07/16/04 07:58 PM

ya know, I feel like I contributed something useful to the board for once....heh

and of all things it's a thread that I will pretty much ignore!
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/16/04 11:43 PM

Unfortunately, I hurt my back a couple of days ago while working in the yard and I'm having a hard time sitting in this chair - so I must be brief.

It seems like the biggest issues down here in soCal are race and class. Minorities are always finding white racism to be at the core of all conlicts, while the poor white folks are always finding economic disparity to be the source of society's ills.

A while back one of our Canadian friends pointed out that Thomas Jefferson borrowed heavily from John Locke and others in writing the Declaration of Independence. Where Jefferson wrote, "...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Locke had, "...life, liberty and property." The United States is a capitalist country and has a representative, democratically elected gov't.

If 90% of the people agree to take the wealth of the other 10%, that is not democracy. That is stealing - mob rule. If you don't like being poor (I've accepted it ) then invest in yourself and do something about it. Bill Cosby's recent rant should have been delivered to all of us not just the black community.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/17/04 01:31 AM

I can't agree with you more BigWill...

but...

In reply to:


But why is it that his policies and tax cuts result in the tossing of nickles at the feet of us middle class folk while the top 1% get billions and billions?




A) I'm extremely middle class, I felt that I got a decent amount of money back from the gov. Want to know why the economy is recovering? Even if the middle class only got a few hundred dollars back, can you think of any of them that put it into savings? Hell no! We all went out and spent that extra money on something, which in turn fed the economy. Couple that with low interest rates and its pure genius (Reganonmics > all).

B) Ever stop to think that when the so called *rich* ppl seem to get back more perhaps its because they are taxed for more to begin with?

We need a damn FLAT tax in this country. Just because someone makes 6+ figures doesn't mean they deserve to be taxed at a higher rate. Furthermore, if you want to whine about how the *rich* tax evade behind deductions and such, well a flat tax would end all of that.

If you want socialistic polices please by all means move. There are plenty of other countrys out there for you. I for one would like to see this one remain based on capitalism. Every able bodied citizan needs to take care of their own damn self! NO HANDOUTS!

To be fair, I believe in smaller gov and thats one thing Bush hasn't been able to acomplish. He is by no means perfect, but he's the best we got right now, and overall I think he's done a pretty good job.

Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT: politics - 07/17/04 01:53 AM

I put it into savings.

And it's my damn country too. I'm staying.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/17/04 03:14 AM

My money went to savings, too. I want to retire comfortably, send my kids to college, etc. I can put off having all the crap I want until later -- or indefinitely. Stuff is nice, but stuff is just things.

BigWill, I don't hink of myself as poor. It's not the fact that rich people have money that get to me. As a matter of fact, I don't care a whole lot about most rich people. It's the super-uber-filthy rich that I worry about, because they use their wealth to influence. They play by different rules than you and I. And it's this great country that enabled them to amass their great wealth, but they want to give back as little as possible. (I realize they pay a ton more in taxes than you and I, but we're talking percentages here, not totals.)

I have nothing against capitalism as long as it's responsible and forward-looking.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/17/04 03:17 AM

In reply to:

ueberaffentittengeil


I'm definitely not "super ape tit horny"

Those Germans sure have a way with words. (Yes, I know it's supposed to mean super-cool, but the literal translation is just wacky.)
Posted by: bray

Re: OT: politics - 07/17/04 12:01 PM

I spent mine on Axiom Loudspeakers.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/17/04 04:40 PM

I bought a 36" TV.

I can't understand why CEOs are paid so much money, but... whatever. Hopefully they'll spend it and invest it here.

The super-rich understand that a large and stable middle class is in their best interests. I was told in college that most of the super rich are actually liberals, but I don't know that to be fact. While it seems odd for the rich to be liberals, there are reasons for it to be so.

The capitalist system that developed during the Industrial Revolution was ugly. Marx, observing that, estimated that people would not stand for such conditions for long. If the sweatshop work conditions and rigid class structures hadn't changed during the last century, we would probably all be comrades right now.

Of course, it was the development of the middle class that Marx did not foresee, and which has extended the longevity of the capitalist system. So long as we are all fat and happy, few will call for drastic change.

Concentrating wealth in the hands of a very few, while the masses are impoverished, would result in a very unstable, and unprofitable, situation for the super-rich. The producers need a market in which to sell their goods. We need to have money to buy those goods and they know that.

Marx argued that the worker must always be alienated from the product of his labor; that is, he won't be able to afford the stuff he makes because the owner will always get his profit (the rich get richer and the poor get poorer). Two thing that prevent this from happening: an "ever-expanding pie" so that we can all get a larger and larger piece (rich get richer and poor get richer, too), and employee discounts.

Whenever politicians pander to the crowd with talk about increasing taxes on the wealthy, putting up protectionist barriers, raising the minimum wage, expanding gov't regulation/bureaucracy, etc..., I immediately question their motivations. Just trying to get elected? (that's it most of the time). Stupid? (hardly ever the case). Possible non-believer in the principles upon which this country is based, IOW - a communist? (sometimes!).

IMO, Clinton, Kerry and Edwards all fall into that first category. That Kucinch (sp?) guy falls into the last category.

This is fun. Don't get mad.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: OT: politics - 07/17/04 05:22 PM

Are you talking about little Dennis? He is my congressman. Actually, though well meaning, I think he falls into the 2nd category.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/17/04 07:41 PM

Elect Trafficant!
Posted by: Hawkson101

Re: OT: politics - 07/17/04 08:11 PM

In reply to:


We need a damn FLAT tax in this country. Just because someone makes 6+ figures doesn't mean they deserve to be taxed at a higher rate. Furthermore, if you want to whine about how the *rich* tax evade behind deductions and such, well a flat tax would end all of that.




People who make excessive incomes do so at the expense of others. CEO's work just as hard as middle management and your average cubicle worker. This is part of capitalism and is 100% acceptable. But, these people are also part of a community and are members of a democracy and they should give back to the community from which they take so much from.


On that note, it is my belief that taxes are too high for everyone. The less money the goverment has the less opportunity they have to waste it. E.G. Going to mars and going to war(needlessly) is preventable by giving the government less money.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/18/04 11:54 PM

I want less gov... but I also want (demand!) a man'd mission to Mars.



Posted by: player8

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 02:25 AM

Will,

I swear I was sitting in my Economics class while reading your post. I'm not sure whether thats a good or bad thing...

My econ Professor wrote a book and he pretty much quotes Marx for his ethos appeal. What you said is exactly what I heard in class three times a week. I do think that your right though.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 09:36 AM

In reply to:

I want less gov... but I also want (demand!) a man'd mission to Mars




inane- i sure hope that was a joke?? i still dont understand why this is SUCH a big deal?? why are we spending billions and billions of dollars to try and send spacecraft to photograph mars?? research, science, knowledge?? meanwhile, we got plenty of people dying right here on earth from diseases and plagues.. and we got plenty of people that cant walk from MD, and other possibly preventable defects. but somehow it makes more sense to keep wasting money to find a microscopic organism imbedded 6 inches in a chunk of mars rock??

i hope someone, someday, can make this extreme waste of time and money make sense?

bigjohn
Posted by: Radspecv

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 10:39 AM

I have to agree. I've always wondered what they were hoping to gain from all this space exploration. It would seem more beneficial to spend the money to fix the Earth first.

Pete
Posted by: ringmir

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 11:01 AM

I tend to agree with the whole space exploration thing, although I know there are other places this money could go. (IE: deep ocean exploration...) The thing is, that as a species we will outgrow this planet. (Unless we kill each other off first of course) Now I'm not saying we should start doing serious terraforming research or anything like that, but in all seriousness, earth is an infintessimal speck on the face of the universe. I think it's important to see what is out there, and to know we can get there. Who knows if some discovery of extreme value lies under 6 inches of martian soil? Science is driven forward by dreamers, not by necessity. Robotics will have a significant place in the not too distant future whether we like it or not. Building robots to navigate an alien landscape and succeed in specific missions is an excellent way of evolving our robotics capabilities. Aerospace technology needs new technological challenges in order to push forward. For the sake of military security in a changing world we need to continue to evolve our space capabilities and stay ahead of potentially hostile countries. If one nuclear bomb were detonated at orbital elevations, the EMP would shut down thousands of satellites. It's not a waste of money at all...granted, there are other places the money could go, but there's also more money that can go there. Look at the war chest, and compare it to NASA's budget. I'm going to spot ranting now....but seriously, this is good stuff that will ultimately benefit mankind, there is just no way to predict how or where.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 01:44 PM

Why not spend billions on exploring near space? We waste that kind of money on all kinds of crap that has zero possibility for return.

Just to stir the pot , why is that we give money to people for not working? Why not make employment a condition for welfare/unemployment money?

It seems to me that they're encouraging people to remain unemployed by paying them for not working. A minimum wage job might look better if you had a nice little gov't check to go along with it. And, hopefully, those minimum wage jobs would snowball into bigger and better things for many people who otherwise would have been at home on the couch watching Jerry Springer, waiting for the next gov't check to come in.
Posted by: ringmir

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 02:16 PM

The problem with space is exactly that. Space. Near space is "empty". Exploring a vacuum just isn't terribly interesting. And the debris out there is studied quite extensively. A few floors away from me in this building they maintain a database of observations and tracking information on thousands of satellites, rocks, and just plain space trash. When they were planning the space station they called over here to find out what area would be the best to build it in order to minimize potential space debris collisions.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 06:53 PM

I can't say that I know much about space, but I thought it was amusing when Clinton said, "...we have conquered space...," in a State of the Union address. Like our tiny forays outside earth's atmosphere are of any significance compared to the vastness of the universe.

I was discussing space and time travel once with a very intelligent student. He asked my opinion about all of it - I told him I didn't think it was possible (to travel through time or to distant solar systems) and explained why. He asked what college I had graduated from - I told him, but asked why he wanted to know. "So I know not to go there," he replied and walked away. It truly was hilarious.

I've always thought that "warp speed" would be awfully difficult to do. What about all the debris scattered in front of the path of the ship? How do you chart a course of that distance without encountering any rocks?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 07:35 PM

BigWill, when you travel at warp speed (hypothetically, of course), you're taking a non-liner shortcut between point A and B.

Imagine space as a sheet of copier paper. Point A is near one edge, and point B is near the opposite edge. Using conventional travel, the shortest distance between the two points is a straight line. Using warp travel, you can bend space, bringing point A and B closer together. To use star trek terms, the "warp factor" is the degree to which space is bent. The more you bend it, the close the destination becomes.

That being said, my jury is still out as to whether faster than light travel (which, technically speaking, is time travel) is possible. It cannot be attained conventionally (i.e. just firing you thrusters until you eventually reach light speed), but it may be possible using other means, such as black holes or worm holes. There are some exiting new discoveries that suggest black holes are not as destructive as previously believed.

Being a complete geek and former nerd, I can't say I want all money that's currently going toward space research to be diverted toward earthly endeavors, but I do think the majority of our expenditures as a nation should go toward terrestrial issues.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 08:24 PM

I understand what makes you a complete geek, but what qualifies you as a "former" nerd?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 08:57 PM

I'd rather not say.

LOL, I don't know why I said that. Maybe it should be former geek instead. I'm not scrawny, I like sunlight, and I don't eat much junk food. James_R might say that disqualifies me.
Posted by: James_T

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 09:22 PM

Hehe. Since you live in the Bay Area allowances must be made. You can retain geek status and not be pasty white or eat nothing but junk food. However, if you do not consume caffeine then you are out! Out I say! Out!

jr
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 10:02 PM

Einstein has been explained to me before, but I still don't get the time/space connection, or why travelling at or near the speed of light would affect the passage of time. Please don't try again.

Wormholes have also been explained to me, but there is no evidence to suggest that they exist right? Atheist mythology?
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 10:07 PM

I am a geek, NOT a nerd... just want to be clear on that.

In reply to:


inane- i sure hope that was a joke?? i still dont understand why this is SUCH a big deal?? why are we spending billions and billions of dollars to try and send spacecraft to photograph mars?? research, science, knowledge?? meanwhile, we got plenty of people dying right here on earth from diseases and plagues.. and we got plenty of people that cant walk from MD, and other possibly preventable defects. but somehow it makes more sense to keep wasting money to find a microscopic organism imbedded 6 inches in a chunk of mars rock??

i hope someone, someday, can make this extreme waste of time and money make sense?




It's pretty simple actually. Yes a small part of the reason to do this is one day earth will be even more overcrowded than it is today. But the far bigger reason for exploring is this:

Name all the different ways mankind has been able to gain substantial new technology from. Done? I'm willing to bet nothing on that list can compare to two things, war and exploration.

True we really haven't spent much time exploring the oceans but we are about done with the land on this planet. So many things you use each day come from one of those two things. Personally I'd rather see us put more effort into space than war to get the results we need. And please don't go say we don't need more technology. Just think back 10 years ago before the internet got huge. Common ppl are now not only able to exchange ideas with fellow countrymen, we do so with ppl across the seas.

Mankind is driven by one thing, to learn. If you're not moving forward, you are likely moving backwards.

Posted by: Ajax

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 10:18 PM

In reply to:

...Wormholes have also been explained to me, but there is no evidence to suggest that they exist right?...


Yes there is. I have an apple, right here, that proves it.
Posted by: Hawkson101

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 11:56 PM

we(The U.S. and the planet) will achieve useful benefits from space when we have solved our problems on earth. But before then, nothing we learn or gain from space will affect our daily lives. It is perposterous to think that conquering mars is possible when corporations with monetary aims in mind are in control of these projects.

When the significance of money, and therefore wealth decreases, mankind will advance as a society. When healthcare, food, shelter, education and moderate individual accesories are afforded to everyone we, as a race and a country, can start to move towards something bigger then planet earth. Granted, the situation I described is almost utopia like, but it is achievable. With robots and computers ready to take on 80% of the jobs humans do, there will be more free time for us to devote towards individual free time, bettering ourselves and bettering others.

Once that is acheived we can start thinking about mars and other noble ideas.

First lets worry about oil, electric cars and AIDs.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT: politics - 07/19/04 11:58 PM

Just to stir the pot a bit, I'll point out that many of the technological advances that we have had in the last 50 years or so have come from the space industry (for lack of a better term). That said, I don't think now is the right time to go to Mars, especially at the expense of other projects, such as the Hubble and the weather satellite that NASA recently decomissioned. Also, if you're going to make a proclamation like this, make sure it gets funded properly...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 12:06 PM

"When the significance of money, and therefore wealth decreases, mankind will advance as a society. When healthcare, food, shelter, education and moderate individual accesories are afforded to everyone we, as a race and a country, can start to move towards something bigger then planet earth. Granted, the situation I described is almost utopia like, but it is achievable. With robots and computers ready to take on 80% of the jobs humans do, there will be more free time for us to devote towards individual free time, bettering ourselves and bettering others."

I would have to disagrre with just about everything in the above statement. Money, wealth, capitalism, etc... is the engine that has advanced human civilization to the point we are today.

For example, there is no question that health care in the developed countries is better today than it was 10 years ago or 20 or 100. Why? Because medical research - largely funded by companies looking to make a profit with the latest, greatest life saving drug/machine - has benefited from the incentive capitalism provides.

If the time comes when humans no longer have to work and can just spend their time pondering the angst of their existence, we will be in trouble. It is healthy, nay ESSENTIAL, to strive, to struggle, to want, to achieve. The "free-time utopia" you envision would probably be a very depressing, listless, direction-less place.

I agree though that our oil addiction needs to be addressed now!
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 12:39 PM

i am going to change the subject.. i still think the space exploration thing is a big waste of money, but, to each their own..

my interest now, is in how the republican party is gonna handle the soon to be released findings of the 9/11 commission. they are obviously gonna conclude that the reports findings are wrong, and that they are based on ineffective research and intelligence that has been proven unreliable. which is gonna be kinda funny, cause it was that same research and intelligence that got them all fired up to attack iraq in the first place..? so , two wrongs make a right?? we will see..

there will be some interesting tip-toeing going on over this report.. but it will be fun to watch both parties try and use it to their advantage.

bigjohn
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 01:33 PM

I was a little bored at work, so I decided to vent:

I get most of my news from CNN, FOX, CNN Online, Drudge, & AM Radio…at least try to get a blend. I have tried NPR, but the program I always find in the morning is some monotone ramblings about relatively unimportant topics. I may be just hitting them at the wrong time, but I can’t appreciate the format…makes me want to sleep instead of think. Truthfully, I listen to Neil Boortz frequently, whose Libertarian views resonate closely with my own.

Growing up, I was what many would call a bleeding-heart liberal. After recent conversations with each of my parents, it’s easy to understand why. Both my Mom and my Dad are very much to the left, but for different reasons. My Dad is the eternal victim that believes the dark empire (rich) is out to completely screw the rest of us. My Mom is more aligned on the side of the basic sense of entitlement that is rampant in our country.

As you can tell by my dialog, I have changed my views a bit over the years. Growing up in that environment (home & New England), those Democratic punch lines were passionately drilled into my head. I, in turn, would blindly spew the rhetoric to everyone that would listen. The problem that I would encounter is the fact that some of my conservative buddies would continually take me to the cleaners when we engaged in political discussions. I found myself doing what I now find to be a frustrating element of liberalism (some, not all). Whenever I tried to argue a given point, I would argue using heaping amounts of passion and little more than sound-bytes. I quickly realized that the key to making an effective argument is having the necessary facts to support your position…something I later would try to instill in my Geometry students when discussion the idea of proof.

Many years later, I have done enough reading and listening to better understand the world and all of its complexities. Idealism has given way to realism. I’ve peeled back the onion enough to see that my original premises were without substance, driven more by compassionate idealism and not by a true understanding of the political and economic system in which we live.

Now that you know my life’s history, I’ll get to the good stuff:

1. I think that space exploration must continue. I don’t know enough about the funding structure, but I would like to see more private sector support. As many have said, innovation and advancement arises from exploration (and war). Also, as a species, we need to stop thinking of ourselves as the center of the universe.

2. I am mixed about the war with Iraq. I did not care for Bush’s timing and his methodology. I believe that the Iraq needed to be addressed, but I think that it could have been handled differently. I would have rathered we had better UN support, but not in the way that most advocate. Based upon what we know about the motives of the major UN powers, in relation to Iraq, it is obvious that we were not going to easily obtain their support for our actions. However, I think that Bush missed an opportunity to call the UN out and force their hand. Instead of taking NO for an answer and going it alone, he should have forced their hands based upon the fact that they must follow through with their own resolutions if they are to maintain any credibility in the world community. Since we are the biggest financial contributor to the UN, I think that we could have pounded on them a bit harder than we did. Then, when the evidence of their interactions with Iraq came to light, we would be in a better position to perhaps demand reform in the UN structure.

3. I think that we are indeed in the middle of world war with us on one side and radical Islam on the other. This is not a war of religion for us; it’s a war for survival. I think that we have forgotten the horror of 9/11, which is understandable, to an extent. We are so wrapped up in our own little worlds to pay attention to the bigger picture…However, the terrorists are still out there planning ways to kill YOU. No matter what we do, they want us dead. 9/11 was a wake-up call, but it didn’t last long enough. We’ve settled right back into our normal day-to-day life and lost sight of the underlying fact that the adversary in this situation does not forget, does not get back to normal life, does not have a change of heart. He wants us dead no matter what. The next time we hear from them on American soil, it might be when they vaporize 10 million people with a nuclear device. That day is coming…mark my words. This fact alone should keep you up at night. So, when you are standing at that ballot box, keep this in mind. We need strong leadership right now that is willing to speak in their language. George W Bush might be a moron to some degree, but he is the one that scares our enemies, not John Kerry.

4. I truly believe that our society is being overrun with a severe entitlement complex. Somewhere along the line, we lost sight of the basic tenet of capitalism that each member of society needs to contribute in order to obtain his piece of that ever-expanding pie. Yes, the pie is not finite….the beauty of the system. Everyone can succeed as long as they step up and do what it takes to get their piece. Everyone does not deserve a house and a nice car. Everyone doesn’t deserve economic security. Everyone doesn’t deserve financial stability. Our system in its basic construction does not guarantee that for anyone. Our system does, however, guarantee that those things can be obtained if you work hard and contribute to the system. We all want these things, but many of us somewhere along the line began to think that these are things that we are entitled to, which is a very dangerous thought process. The blood that fills the veins of this economy is laced with sweat from the brow of those making their way.

5. Our government is in dire need of an overhaul. Both parties are dead-set on spending us into oblivion (yes, both parties pmbuko). The only solution is to turn off the faucet. The only solution is to reduce taxation and force them to cut excess spending. Unfortunately, I think that we have gone too far down the line and given the government too much power. Like rats following the piper, the average public views government as the solution to all of society’s ills and are therefore willing to surrender more and more of their personal earnings to the cause. If they don’t, then the IRS thugs come knee-cap them. But, prior to that, they will be labeled as the greedy “rich” for not wanting to pay taxes, for not wanted to foot the bill for every subsidy/entitlement program that they come up with. God forbid the top 2% get back a portion of the well over 50% of the load that they pay for.

6. At the inner layers of this onion is the biggest problem with our government. As with most political bodies (similar to labor unions), the original intent is honorable and worthy, but our government now exists for it’s own existence. Politicians seek only to maintain their own power. They do so by keeping the flock at odds with each other. Using divisive and often unsolvable issues such as abortion and gay marriage, politicians herd the sheep into battle with each other to avoid being seen for what they are. Instead of digging deep into the real and complex issues that affect our daily lives, they keep us sparring over the sound-byte issues that fuel the passion. In doing so, they keep us from uniting (to some degree) behind the more pertinent cause of reforming the institution in which they serve.

Sermon Complete!….As you can see, I’m a bit jaded about politics and the state of the union. The one problem with pulling back the veil of ignorance is the recognition of the true state of affairs and how far things are out of control. When you really start to get a grasp on the system, you begin to wish that you had taken the blue pill.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 01:36 PM

If Bush really had the best long-term interest of our country in mind when he decided on his post 9/11 courses of action, then he should sh*t-can all the BS reason he gave the public and just talk to us straight. More than anything else, it's the fact that he mislead all of us that gets to me.

If he had just told us the truth about his decisions from the get-go, and did nothing else differently, I might actually like the man.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 01:49 PM

TurboDog1,

Wow. That was excellent.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 01:53 PM

turbo- wow.. i agree and disagree with several points on an even scale.. but i just wanted to applaude the post, and the manner in which it was written. i dont agree with everything, but i respect that fact that you wrote it.

see, who says we cant be civil while talkin bout politics..

bigjohn
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 03:19 PM

I present you with an animated history of Saddam Hussein, for those too busy or lazy to read up on him.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 03:41 PM

That's a great link. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of how much of our problems are by our own creation. Our government utilizes it's "Assets" until they outlive their usefulness and then act surprised when they come back to bite us in the ... I would, however, be curious to see source material for the references to us expressing no opinion about their invasion of Kuwait.

Just to show that I am not a die-hard Bush lover, take a look at this link: Buchanan Commentary
This is a document written by Pat Buchanan, who is quite obviously a conservative, in which he lays out a damning case against the administration's motivations for war. I'm not a big fan of his, but I am impressed with his willingness to break ranks w/ the Right. It's not an easy read, but it's very eye-opening. Truthfully, it's some pretty scary stuff.

Let me know if the link doesn't work. It's my first time...I'm a link cherry.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 04:15 PM

consider yourself popped. Link worked fine. I've bookmarked it for later reading, as it seems it needs more of my attention than I can give it from my desk at work.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 04:17 PM

ditto.. i want to read it with time to properly digest.. plus, i would like to cut and paste some of the paragraphs to send to my republican friends..

it might make them think if one of their own its doubting his leadership.

bigjohn
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 04:32 PM

In order for people to change their minds, the following must be true:

-First and foremost, people must be open to the idea that their currently held beliefs may be wrong.

- Second, any evidence that is contrary to their beliefs must be presented delicately. Nobody likes to have the rug pulled out from under their feet; it usually results in denial.


The problem is, the majority of people still on either extreme of the pro-con spectrum regarding the war on Iraq have not come to those conclusions through independent research and digging for information outside the mass madeia, but through allying their viewpoints with various pundits and party mouthpieces. This applies to both the right and the left.

The moral of my post is this: if you're not already open to the possibility of truth on both sides of the fence, then you're not going to change your mind at all anytime soon.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 06:14 PM

"In order for people to change their minds, the following must be true:

-First and foremost, people must be open to the idea that their currently held beliefs may be wrong."

Unless you can see into the future, you cannot say whether the Iraq War was right or wrong.

IMO, it was a morally just war. Who would not be in the right in deposing a tyrant such as Hussein?

Politically, we will have to wait and see. Was it the best move to ensure the safety and security of the US? We cannot possibly know at this point.

Buchanan's long rant is dated march 2003. Maybe somebody knows what he thinks now?

Buchanan is part of the religous right, the Christian conservative wing of the GOP. Allegedly, he is someone who harbors no fondness for Jews. Even so, it is surprising that he sees Judaism as more of a threat to America than Islam. I don't see how either religion in itself could be a threat, but, judging by events, orthodox Jews are no threat while radical Muslims are.

Certainly, our aid to Israel has put us on poor terms with the Arab world. Why do we take sides? Because of the influence of American Jews on our foreign policy? Or because the state of Israel has a democratically elected gov't and the people of Israel hold values more closely aligned with our own?

Maybe establishing Israel was a mistake (as were many well-intentioned efforts in the past), but what do we do about it now? From what I have seen, heard and read, the Arabs want no Israeli state at all. Maybe the Jews could buy Baja from Mexico and start over. Or maybe they will just have to accept their annihilation. I dunno, any ideas? LOL

Other than briefly acknowledging the despotic nature of the Arab regimes (as if it were just a quirky little thing those Arabs do), Buchanan has nothing harsh to say about them. Every paragraph of his article is directed at a perceived Jewish conspiracy.

Questions we need to ask ourselves:
In the long run, how will it affect the US if the trend toward repressive, anti-American gov'ts in the Middle East continues? Short of war, how can that trend be stopped and reversed? If it cannot be stopped without bloodshed, does the region pose a threat to the US?

IMO, this is not Vietnam all over again. We're not talking about impoverished rice-farming peasants in a backwards, insignificant country. Oil revenues that fund nuclear aspirations - combined with institutionalized anti-American education and a culture that does not value human lives (especially those of infidels) - make our interests in the region very keen.

Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 06:28 PM

I don't know how to quote on here, so I'll cut and paste...

>>IMO, it was a morally just war. Who would not be in the right in deposing a tyrant such as Hussein?

If he had WMD and was a threat to us it's one thing to go in and take him out.

But, without the proof what right do we have to go in and oust him? We as a country don't agree with the methods he uses to run his country? So just because we have the power to do what we want and what we think is right we should? No wonder a large part of the world sees us as evil and bullies.

It's hard to do, but try to take a step back and look at things from the other sides view.

Was Saddam a threat? Perhaps he was, perhaps not. But don't go in under the assumption that he is, find no WMD, and then claim it was still a good thing because we got rid of a tyrant.

A lot of people would not have wanted to go in in the first place if the reason was just to get rid of a tyrant who ruled in a way we don't agree with.

Going after Bin Laden was a different story....he is an obvious threat and does need to be taken out. It appears that N. Korea could be a bigger problem then Saddam was though.

*Disclaimer* No, I don't watch all the news shows or keep up to date a lot with this, so I don't have a lot of media influence involved in my views. I'm just trying to look at things from both sides.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 07:05 PM

"But, without the proof what right do we have to go in and oust him? We as a country don't agree with the methods he uses to run his country? So just because we have the power to do what we want and what we think is right we should? No wonder a large part of the world sees us as evil and bullies."

The above statement would fall in the "politically correct or not?" category. BTW, nice euphemistic quote there, "...the methods he uses to run his own country." As if all methods of ruling are equally moral or just?

By morally just, I meant, "Whose side would God be on?" (not that God would choose sides, or even saying that God exists. Just simplifying "right and wrong"). An imperfect democracy or a murdering tyrant? Seems pretty cut-and-dried to me - and apparently to his own people, as they flooded the streets and celebrated.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 08:28 PM

"IMO, it was a morally just war. Who would not be in the right in deposing a [former US puppet/]tyrant such as Hussein?"

Well, I guess if we made him, then we have the right unmake him, right?

But in all seriousness, only time and the resulting condition of the Iraqi people can really tell us whether or not the war was worthwhile for humanitarian reasons.
Posted by: Hawkson101

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 09:44 PM

""When the significance of money, and therefore wealth decreases, mankind will advance as a society. When healthcare, food, shelter, education and moderate individual accesories are afforded to everyone we, as a race and a country, can start to move towards something bigger then planet earth. Granted, the situation I described is almost utopia like, but it is achievable. With robots and computers ready to take on 80% of the jobs humans do, there will be more free time for us to devote towards individual free time, bettering ourselves and bettering others."

I would have to disagrre with just about everything in the above statement. Money, wealth, capitalism, etc... is the engine that has advanced human civilization to the point we are today.

For example, there is no question that health care in the developed countries is better today than it was 10 years ago or 20 or 100. Why? Because medical research - largely funded by companies looking to make a profit with the latest, greatest life saving drug/machine - has benefited from the incentive capitalism provides.

If the time comes when humans no longer have to work and can just spend their time pondering the angst of their existence, we will be in trouble. It is healthy, nay ESSENTIAL, to strive, to struggle, to want, to achieve. The "free-time utopia" you envision would probably be a very depressing, listless, direction-less place.
"

I think you took my vision of a better society and possibly twisted it just a little:)

Sometime in this century machines will replace most of our daily jobs. What possibilities are there for the human race when most instinctual needs are met without working(very hard or at all) and we have time for other things? In my view space and other conquests will be achieved. IMO that is the time to start looking foward instead of now while healthcare and food are not readily available to everyone.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 09:53 PM

First of all, let me say that I too don't put a ton of weight on anything that Pat Buchanon says. He has long since burned that bridge w/ the extremist crap that he often spews. In this case, I tried diligently to separate his personal assertions from the actual quoted/referenced text. I also followed up by reading up on the think-tank website that these guys maintain, which contains a lot of position papers issued by them...I don't have the link here at home. I will try to post tomorrow.

In the end, I can pallet the idea of these guys brainstorming policy, since those types of groups are probably a dime a dozen. It doesn't surprise me that they were able to get into the positions that they presently hold. I can even accept that their policies may be slanted a little too far in favor of Israel's interests. However, I take comfort in the fact that public opinion and the influence of Congress should keep this generally at bay. My biggest concern is the general sentiment they express to aggressively attack ALL of the militant terrorist groups, such as Jesbola (etc). I obviously would prefer that these groups be eradicated, but I have heartburn about the fact that many of these groups are not our direct enemies at this point in time. If we actually take the aggressive stance that these men are proposing, I fear that we might actually ignite more hatred for the US than we already see in the Middle East. Right now, many of these groups would rather blow up Israel. I'm not quite sure I want to proactively shift their attention to blowing us up.

Now, I want to shift gear to Iraq again for a minute....

First of all, I too find myself questioning the "imminent threat" portion of the administration's argument. I think that they stretched that one a bit to transition from Afghanistan to Iraq. That being said, I personally think that they had an opportunity to pressure the UN to step up to the task...as I stated before. We still would have been the muscle in that scenario, but we would have forced the UN to follow through on their own threats.

On a related note, as expected, the "No WMDs" argument has surfaced. I find this particular argument to be a bit disturbing. Persons arguing will quickly argue that the lack of WMDs found is proof that the war effort was flawed from inception. What they will not readily agree to is the fact that ALL of Congress (Including Hillary and Kerry) voted in favor of the war, based upon the available intel and the perceived threat...which, by the way, has been subsequently confirmed by Russian intel. In addition to this, they often scoff at the idea that Saddam most assuredly hid all of the weapons in question either out in the desert or probably in Syria, which is presently acting as the terrorist turnstile. To agree to these points, you have to admit that the Bush administration did the right things based upon the information available....and that's not going to happen.

The second of the above points completely perplexes me. If you go through the different UN resolutions and documents, there is ample proof that Saddam had WMDs (yes, probably US-made). While doing that search, you also quickly see that he spent ten years (on and off) giving UNSCUM the runaround and depriving them of unfettered access to Iraqi facilities. Neither of these is disputed. Given that, I'm not sure why everyone can't connect the dots and see that he hid the weapons. Did he just go and destroy them and not tell the UN?....why?...makes no sense. Did he not have them at all?...nope. UN reports document their existence. So, that's not a valid position. Did he use them?...there's no evidence of that, beyond the early days of gassing thousands of his own people (yes, after we encouraged them to revolt and left them hanging). What's left is to assume that Saddam hid the WMDs. It's not a copout....it's the only explanation...simple logic. They had to go somewhere....occam's razor, is it?

I hope it's apparent now that I'm not fully arguing in favor of either side. I am merely trying to address points as they come up. I think that we all are guilty of picking up the party line sometimes without questioning the motives of the particular argument. Right now, the Democrats have selective amnesia concerning their support for this war and their statements concerning the Iraqi threat. Their demigod was the first to admit that Iraq was a problem that needed to be dealt with....too bad he hadn't snatched up Bin Laden when the Sudanese offered him up on a silver platter. No way I wasn't going to toss that out to stir things up.

In reading over this post, I realize that I'm a bit scattered in my argument....Oh well, long day.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 09:58 PM

If you are bringing God into it, they would surely say he is on their side...that's the whole motiviation. I of course don't agree with that (or even that he takes "sides" in the affairs of men).

As to his methods being just, no they aren't for what we expect. Does that make it our job to police the world and take out all leaders that we don't consider to be just? Why should our version of right be considered the right for the whole world? Sounds kind of like what Hitler wanted...his version of right for everyone.

Now before you saying I am not being PC again, no I am not comparing the US to Hitler...I think we live in a great country and I feel lucky that I happened to be born in it and enjoy all of the freedoms that we have. I'm just trying to look at things from outside of the US perspective and try to see it as some other countries do. Not everyone has had the privledge of growing up and living their lives in a country like ours, so they have different perspectives on things. At the same time, I don't think this means we should try to free every country and try to give them the freedoms we enjoy. Not only is it not our job as a superpower, but there are many countries out there that would resent it (not just the leaders/govt., but the people too).
Posted by: Hawkson101

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 10:18 PM

"I think that we are indeed in the middle of world war with us on one side and radical Islam on the other. This is not a war of religion for us; it’s a war for survival. I think that we have forgotten the horror of 9/11, which is understandable, to an extent. We are so wrapped up in our own little worlds to pay attention to the bigger picture…However, the terrorists are still out there planning ways to kill YOU. No matter what we do, they want us dead. 9/11 was a wake-up call, but it didn’t last long enough. We’ve settled right back into our normal day-to-day life and lost sight of the underlying fact that the adversary in this situation does not forget, does not get back to normal life, does not have a change of heart. He wants us dead no matter what. The next time we hear from them on American soil, it might be when they vaporize 10 million people with a nuclear device. That day is coming…mark my words. This fact alone should keep you up at night. So, when you are standing at that ballot box, keep this in mind. We need strong leadership right now that is willing to speak in their language. George W Bush might be a moron to some degree, but he is the one that scares our enemies, not John Kerry. "


You are correct we are at war with radical islam. But how exactly do you propose we fight this war? With bullets and bombs? With harsh words and forceful politics? That doesn't sound like good foreign policy to me.
What George Bush proposes is to beat radical islam into submission until they no longer believe it is in their best interests to fight and die for what they believe.

Since these people are willing to die for what they believe how is that killing them will eliminate their conviction to fight?

Granted, we can kill their leaders and partly remove institutions that foster these terrorists groups and the ideas that form them, but the problem and the anti-american sentiment will still be there. Others will take their place. Others will die in their place. Others will take up the cause.

It is perposteruous to me to think that you can kill an idea with bullets and bombs and that is exactly what GWBush is planning on. Think Braveheart. Think Israel and Northern Ireland.

The way to solve the 'terrorist' problem is to first figure out why the [censored] they are so pissed off in the first place. Can anyone honestly say why they are pissed off? I have seen my dateline and CNN specials, but what have we really learned about them. According to dateline they feel we have invaded their culture. And we have insulted their god. And a number of other things.

But thats Bullshit. It is a multitude of issues that we have yet to work out. Once we figure out the economics, politics, and religious problem they have with us can we solve our differences.

And when we do figure out the problem, we can figure out the solution. It seems to me that we know they want to kill us, and that we must stop them from killing us.
George Bush says this crap is the problem and that he is solving it by going to war with iraq. That isn't the problem. That is the result of radical Islamic problem that already exists.

We need a leader NOT like George Bush who understands that the hearts and minds of Islam will NOT be won over with bullets and bombs.

It is so unbearably frusterating to think that we have a president who says he is trying to win a war with Islam while completely ignoring Islam. Instead he concentrates on Iraq which contrary to Fox's "Cheney said so" approach, was not a part of radical Islams attack on America.

What is also frusterating is that former 'non-radicalists' of Islam are becoming more and more radical thinks to George Bush. George Bush is the cause of problems by completely ignoring Islam.

We went into Iraq without any regard for others, and now that Iraq is a junk hole, we look to others for help. If you put yourself in their shoes, it is hard to imagine they have any sympathy for us anymore.

America was in a great position to change the world after 9-11. We had the hearts of people all over the world with us and the momentum after Afgahnistan to change a lot. Instead we [censored] it up and went to Iraq.

George Bush [censored] my generation. Period




Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 10:29 PM

"IMO that is the time to start looking foward instead of now while healthcare and food are not readily available to everyone."

Now, here is where I'm going to come off as cold, but I have to do it.

First of all, widespread hunger is not a problem here in the US. We are probably by far the fattest nation in the world. This obesity problem extends will into the impoverished areas. Those that would have you believe otherwise are often the ones that manipulate survey results where kids answered questions like "Are you ever hungry at school?" and paint the results to imply widespread childhood hunger.

As far as healthcare goes, I will go out on a limb and say that everyone has access to healthcare in some form or another. Those in poverty may not be part of an HMO, but they still have options w/ clinics, emergency rooms, medicaid, etc. It's not an ideal situation, but it's still far better than the majority of nations on this planet. The recent surge in socialist sentiment in the Democratic party would have everyone in society have the same level of healthcare services. To do so, someone is going to have to bear that financial burden....ie, taxpayers. Before we go down that road, I would prefer that those seeking higher standards of healthcare do what it takes to advance their career prospects, which will directly result in meeting their needs.

Again, our society too easily falls into this government can solve everything mode. If an individual, no matter what their income bracket is, wants to raise their standard of living, it's not the governments responsibility to provide that. It's each of our responsibilities to make our own way. Government progrems should be to help those in lugitimate need....not to subsidize the lower end of the financial spectrum with money taken by force from "the rich".
Posted by: Hawkson101

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 10:45 PM

Turbo Dog-I understand what you are saying and I agree you with 100%. I am talking in generalities and I do know there are specifics that have to be worked out. When I say we need to fix healthcare and food I mean for the whole world. The US will be fine assuming we do not get annihilated. But if we go to mars to claim the red planet in the name of mankind, we should be able to look upon earth from mars knowing mankind is in good order. It used to be(and still is) that humans looked to the skies to get away from the harsh reality of earth, and in the future we can look to the skies knowing that is our reality.

But until we have conquered our problems on planet earth, conquering mars will not, and should not happen.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 10:56 PM

That is the quandry, isn't it. How do we fight this battle? You assert that the first step is to understand Islam and the true source of this sentiment. I think that I would agree with this statement to some extent. It is necessary to truly understand how we have affected this region and created the very sentiment that we are now fighting against. When you really start to understand that, the situation gets even more complex. They don't just hate us because we have intruded on their region. They hate us because we have played w/ them like chess pieces, pitting them against each other to meet our needs and then bailing out on them after we get what we want. But, in the end, the biggest problem is that we represent the antithesis of the fundamentalist culture that they are trying to sustain.

Now, once you gain this better understanding, what do you do with that information? They are still coming, no matter what we do. Our only hope is that the region begins to police itself. But, in the interim, we either sit idly by and wait for the next attack or we finish what we started in Iraq and demonstrate our resolve, the one thing that they do understand about us. There is no resolving of differences in this scenario. With Allah as their guide, they have vowed to destroy us...we can't talk ourselves out of that.

As far as Iraq being a "junk-hole", I think that there are relatives of the tens of thousands of dead kirds that might disagree with that. There are millions of Iraqis that now have a level of freedom they could only have imagined. The only thing turning Iraq into a "junk-hole" is the unending flow of terrrorists from surrounding countries fighting tooth and nails to stop the establishment of a free Iraq. The biggest problem facing Iraqi muslims right now is not the Americans. We're spilling American blood daily trying to protect them. The problem they are facing now is the fundamentalist Islamic radicals killing fellow muslims. Based upon recent proclamations from Iraqi groups demanding the end to these terrorist attacks, it's fair to assume that there is hope that Islam will start to police Islam. Personally, I think that is our best hope for resolution.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 11:04 PM

Hawkson, I understand what you are saying. However, there is another side of me that thinks that halting innovation is a dangerous thing. Right now, the world is still a bunch of Neanderthols clubbing each other over whose God is best. One could argue that massive change requires massive catalysts. What happens if we were to find some kind of proof of life on Mars. Think of the global ramifications if our species was able to know for sure that we are not alone in this game? I agree....It's a tough question when you see mass starvation and AIDS in Africa. However, I also realize that the NASA budget isn't enough to solve the worlds problems...unless of course we can find proof of ET.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 11:04 PM

I certainly did not intend to bring God into the discussion, but when discussing matters of right and wrong it is easier to refer to that paradigm. Pmbuko got my drift by acknowledging that the humanitarian benefit/cost of the war is yet to be seen. Keep in mind, however, that Saddam - terrible as he was - would have been succeeded by another despot.

"As to his methods being just, no they aren't for what we expect. Does that make it our job to police the world and take out all leaders that we don't consider to be just? Why should our version of right be considered the right for the whole world?"

I've never met a Saddam apologist before. Although the link pmbuko supplied earlier came close, stating that Kuwait brought it on themselves. Talk about battered-wife syndrome!

Regardless, Saddam was not viewed as a "true believer" by other Muslims and his hold on power was not affirmed by the graces of Allah. He ruled by fear; the fear that if you opposed him your family would be murdered (hey, you're right, those aren't tactics we would expect from our gov't. To each his own I guess). The poor guys that rushed our tanks with AKs probably had the same fate awaiting them if they had refused. They weren't fighting for Allah, IMO.

"I'm just trying to look at things from outside of the US perspective and try to see it as some other countries do."

I'm not. As an American, I am interested in the health and welfare of my own. No doubt the rest of the world feels the same way, despite their rhetoric to the contrary. Like it or not, there is no int'l system of gov't which unites us all as one people. I look in the eyes of my little boy and know that I could give a rat's ass what the French think.

If it is not our job to police the world then we may as well scrap the UN. Fine by me. But, as we saw on 9/11, the issues in the Middle East - which the gov't is now attempting to address - have direct impact on the lives of Americans in their home country. Not policing the world, but looking out for our own interests.


Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 11:32 PM

Scrap the UN? That's the best idea I've heard tonight. Many people seem to view the UN as some kind of early-days Federation from Star Trek, a unifying body of like minds. It's very unfortunate, but this optimistic view of the UN is misguided. The UN does NOT have the best interests of the US in mind. In fact, a good case can be made for stating that the UN is about as anti-American as you can get, while maintaining enough composure to happily accept the massive US contributions/dues. As we saw with Iraq, three of the largest European powers threw us under the bus in order to maintain their own personal corrupt agenda. I say, pull the funding, disband the damn thing, and start over w/ equal power. That way, the Frogs won't have veto power over a nation willing to actually do a damn thing beside bend over and take it.

OK...I'm done for the night. Political talk does nothing but stress me out. These problems have gotten far beyond our control. When I really think about it, I fear for the future of my little girl, who hopefully will be arriving in the next couple weeks. I guess the best I can do is just do my best to raise an intelligent and compassionate young lady....and hope that the rest of the world can finally get it's #$%& together before they blow it all up.
Posted by: Hawkson101

Re: OT: politics - 07/20/04 11:41 PM

"Our only hope is that the region begins to police itself. But, in the interim, we either sit idly by and wait for the next attack or we finish what we started in Iraq and demonstrate our resolve, the one thing that they do understand about us. There is no resolving of differences in this scenario. With Allah as their guide, they have vowed to destroy us...we can't talk ourselves out of that. "


Why is it that we have to attack them in order to keep ourselves safe? I don't want to sound like a peace loving hippie but can't we at least think about peaceful solutions?

I am glad that you also recognize we must fully figure out what the problem is, and neither your nor I have any significant relevations about what they are. But since we both know these problems are compex and we agree the solution will be equally complicated, I must reiterate that we can not simply solve our problem by kiling those who oppose us. I must reiterate that killing those who are willing to die does not eliminate the problem. It only temporary removes, and then inflames the problem.


Also, I would like to point out that this is not the cold war again. It is not our resolve vs. their resolve and our economy vs their economy. We can not fight this war like any normal war. Our methods must change. And not our tactical methods. We must change our ideas on war in order to win this war.

If you kill 1 terrorist, their neighbor, their brother, and their brothers neighbor will take their place. We can not and should not expect to win the war by killing radical islamist. We can expect to win the war by focusing on prevention and religous and cultural diplomacy.



Also, what does this statement mean. "But, in the end, the biggest problem is that we represent the antithesis of the fundamentalist culture that they are trying to sustain."

I am not just trying to be cute with this question. I don't believe we are the exact opposite of radical Islam and that our differences can not be resolved. Its true our values our different at times, but that statement sounds too much like a soundbite from a politician. Please elaborate.

"The only thing turning Iraq into a "junk-hole" is the unending flow of terrrorists from surrounding countries fighting tooth and nails to stop the establishment of a free Iraq."
The first part of the statement is simply not true.
The latest official report out of Iraq has stated that of the 5000 prisoners in custody under a 100 are foreign. The exact figure eludes me but it was less then 2% of them are foreign.
Fox news(which is where I believe this statement comes from) is not news. News is reporting the facts as they are, not as one wants them to be.

In any case, the situation in Iraq is debatable. One poll will say "Iraqis believe they are better off now then before Saddaam", but another poll will say "Iraqis are less happy without saddamm."

It is difficult to analyze a situation where the kurds are free, almost a thousand Americans are dead and many more thousands of Iraqis are dead.

Are you willing to put your life on the line to go to some country you will never visit otherwise so the Kurds can be free? It is a noble idea and a noble cause, but the repercussions can be enormous. To be honest, I care more about the tragedy in Sudan and the AID's crisis in Africa more then the Kurds in Iraq. THe Kurds were living their lives a in a functional, although slightly oppressive goverment for 10 years without incident.

Now if Saddam had WMD and he had started going at the Kurds again that would be a different story. But he didn't have WMD and he wasn't commiting genocide against the Kurds yet we still went in there. Lets concetrate on the terrorists and the threats that affect Americans and not some shitty country I will never visit and will never affect me.


Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 12:30 AM

EVERYONE has to watch this (with sound)

http://www.jibjab.com/

Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 08:18 AM

just thought i would throw this in here.

looks like a few of us arent the only ones worried about the money being wasted on space exploration. i just saw where the House subcommittee(which is republican based), has voted to cut NASA funding by 7%, to allow for more money to be put into a veterans benefits package. i guess it finally made sense to someone to spend good money on the americans 'down here', than the void 'up there'?

bigjohn
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 08:33 AM

Hawkson,

I agree that diplomacy has to be our primary method of handling inernational affairs. However, I think that you have a bit of an unrealistic impression of how much possibility for diplomacy there is in this situation. Those that we are fighting against do not value life. They are willing to die, based upon a misguided view of the afterlife and piles of virgins at the foot of Allah. We are not really dealing with radicals....we are dealing with fanatics. The atrocity of 9/11 clearly displays the types of people we are dealing with.

Now, with that being said, I again agree that diplomacy must be our primary path for dealing with the region and all of it's complexities. But, in regards to terrorists, they must simply die like rabid dogs, because they won't stop trying to bite us, no matter what we do. If we can simultaneously follow these two paths, we indeed have a better chance of getting out of this mess.

As to the issue of resolve, I have to disagree with you. Every day, there is a bombing of sorts over in Iraq. Have you ever wondered why they happen like that?...not in larger clusters? Every night, CNN will show the daily dose of Iraqi terrorism, just like they want it. Their whole goal is to break the resolve of the US. How better to do that than to assure that every American's dinner-time news contains it's daily dose of death in Iraq? Now, let's assume that this works and we simply pull out like Spain or the Philipines. Do you truly think that they will leave us alone after that?...not a chance. The difference is that we are the target here. The only thing we can do is show them that we will not be deterred from our cause.

On a larger note, this may not be the Cold War, but we are the last remaining superpower. In that position, we simply cannot afford to have anyone question our resolve.

"antithesis of the fundamentalist culture that they are trying to sustain"

What exactly about the West is it that you think they are fighting against? Our society is founded upon the idea of freedom and our system is based upon the ideals of Capitalism and the secular ideal of speparation of church and state. In essence, everything that we represent is the opposite of the system these extremists are fighting to maintain, a system based upon strict fundamentalist doctrine. I think we have different views on the depth of the hatred and resolve in our advisary, as you again mention diplomacy in dealing with terrorists. I hope I am wrong, but I don't share that optimism. Again, actions from 9/11 make it clear to me the value they place on life and the level of hatred they hold for us.

I'd have to see your source for your comments about the makeup of the prisoners. Beyond that, I wouldn't be surprised if you were correct. However, the makeup of those prisoners is not necessarily a reflection of the makeup of the insurgency. I'm not there, but I would suspect that we don't catch many of these terrorists as they set the roadside bombs and those fighting directly with our soldiers either end up disappearing into the wind or end up swiss cheese in the sand. Those in prison may only be suspected collaborators, etc. In the end, you have to think about this from all sides and realize that each news medium has it's own agenda. If you want to show the war in a bad light, it's easy to take reports/facts out of context and lead your viewers to unsupported conclusions...Just ask Michael Moore.

When I was referencing the Kurds, I wasn't talking about their freedom. I was referencing the relatives of the thousands of Kurds that Hussein gassed using those non-existent WMDs. I am quite sure that they are happy to be out from under Hussein's brutal thumb.

At days end, this problem is bigger than us sitting here jockeying back and forth. This war will continue for generations, regardless. We can only hope we don't turn the Earth into a wasteland in the process.

OK, off to work, now that I'm late as hell.
Posted by: ringmir

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 09:11 AM

Man, I don't think any thread has every generated this many looooooooooooooong posts. No wonder there were political discussions breaking out everywhere...
Posted by: denver

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 09:54 AM

Someone else sent me a link to the animated film clip that INANE recommended - it's great. Here's a bit more direct link: http://atomfilms.shockwave.com/af/content/this_land_af. Click on "Watch Film" to see Bush and Kerry trade insults to the tune of "This Land is Your Land."
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 12:38 PM

According to a 2 hour documentary (which generally painted a negative view of the war) that I saw on the Dicovery Times channel (or was it Discovery Civilizations?) there were large numbers of Syrians who had crossed the border to do battle with the infidels. I don't know if they're still there or not, but the insurgents seem practiced at terrorist-type attacks.


Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 12:47 PM

I don't agree with what Saddam did or how he ran his country, but in the bigger picture, I don't think we should go take out anyone we don't agree with either.

As for policing the world, if it is anyone's job it is the entire UN. The rest of the UN wasn't convinced, but we went in anyway. The UN may be the closest thing to the police, but not the US alone.

As far as looking outside the US perspective, it fits in with some of the other messages in this thread. If we don't look at them and try to understand them we aren't going to get anywhere. Is continuing to throw troops at them going to solve anything? They aren't giving up...they look forward to dying because of their extremist views. I'm sure they think there are more riches and women for them with Allah the more of us they can take out first.
I think we need to look beyond Saddam at the big picture...how does the rest of the world view our actions. How do we affect relations by taking out these weaker countries. A lot of other countries don't view what we did as right, regardless of opinion in the US (which is divided, as we can tell). As was mentioned earlier, let's just not keep fighting everyone and creating more enemies along the way.

This can go on and on, because I don't think anyone knows what the right answer is and how to ultimately handle the situation effectively. I don't think the govt. has been able to do it, and I don't have much confidence that Kerry taking over would lead to a different plan of action that would work either. I've had enough of this thread for now....I'm out.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 12:56 PM

Hilarious link Inane. I've emailed that to lots of folks. Thanks.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 05:12 PM

npnp BigWill

In reply to:


I've had enough of this thread for now....I'm out.




I can't get enough of this thread. We definitely have both sides going at it here, but its pretty civil and I'd say constructive.

/wishes politians would figure this out


Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 05:16 PM

I'll agree it's an interesting read...I just don't feel like debating back and forth forever...I'll continue to check it out though.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 05:19 PM

"As for policing the world, if it is anyone's job it is the entire UN. The rest of the UN wasn't convinced, but we went in anyway. The UN may be the closest thing to the police, but not the US alone."

I agree, we aren't going to solve this world problem right now, which is why it's good that this thread seems to be quieting down....ie, I'm shutting up.

Before I go ... I do however think that there is some flaws with your above argument. First of all, the UN spent 10 years issuing unending resolutions condemning Iraq's continual defiance of their authority. That tells me that, at least on the surface, the UN was against the Iraqi regime and it's actions. The problem that quickly became apparent is that the leading members of the UN (France, Germany, & Russia) are acting in their own interests and not fulfilling their responsibilities to the UN. Yes, the UN should be the world police, but they have to have credibility to do so. So far, they aren't doing so well at that. As I said before, the handling of Iraq was a good opportunity for the administration to call out the UN and force them to act on their own resolutions, regardless of the interests of their individual members. In my eyes, Bush screwed the pooch in not stomping on the UN a little harder to do it's job before we went ahead w/out them.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 05:27 PM

In reply to:


The problem that quickly became apparent is that the leading members of the UN (France, Germany, & Russia) are acting in their own interests and not fulfilling their responsibilities to the UN.




That is EXACTLY why the U.N. is completely irrelavant. EVERY nation, including the U.S. has its own intentions at heart. Nothing GW could have done would have changed the outcome. Even France reconzied Iraq had these weapons but choose to do nothing because it suited them best.

Furthermore I believe better than half of the members in the U.N. are representing dictatorships. Not many of those are ever going to look fondly apon U.S. interests.

Further furthermore, why should we care/respect these countrys that don't allow their citizans even the most basic rights. Sure its not practical to overthrow all those opressive governments, but the U.S. shouldn't care very much what they think in an IRRELAVENT (and corrupt) U.N.

Just add this to the STACK of reason's why Kerry would make a terrible President (he wants to bow to the U.N. and rest of the world).

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 07:07 PM

In reply to:

Even France reconzied Iraq had these weapons but choose to do nothing because it suited them best.


Vaht iz dees? Peek on Frohnz veek? Saddam 'ussein vas not a t'reat to uhs! Go beck to yor "Freedom Fries" and leef uhs de 'eck alohn!
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 08:43 PM

You keep it fun, dude.

I thought I may have been a little too sarcastic last night - sorry Zarak, but I was sauced.

How about Linda Ronstadt? Or the topic on O'Reilly's show last night (re: Canadaian opinion of the US)? Or Arnold's "girlie men" comment?
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 11:18 PM

I love the fact there is a politician (Arnold) that will just tell it like it is.

Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 11:21 PM

How about that crazy defiance of the laws of physics?....that document that fell off the table, went under the pant leg, and slid into the sock.

Or maybe Martha?...another victim claiming conspiracy to avoid actually admitting guilt. Maybe she can gather some yard dust and bake herself a large pillow to support her magnificently large head.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 11:31 PM

I don't understand how anybody likes that Martha Stewart. She's just a mean old broad that keeps a clean house.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 11:38 PM

But, she has a mean recipe for meatloaf, as long as you have a pinch of black tica leaf found only in the canopy of the Brazilian rain forest and two pinches of red yanka root found only under a particular ledge about 2/3rds the way up mount kilamonjaro.

OK....so that's a stretch. I've been priming the basement all night, so I'm borderline delerious by this point. My only hope is a stiff vodka tonic to bring me back to this world.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/21/04 11:42 PM

I think pmbuko told me you can smoke that tica leaf.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 12:03 AM

Actually, Hawkson told me that you can mash up the yanka root, mix it into a smoothie, and then have an out-of-body transcendental experience....perhaps even open your eyes and find yourself on Mars.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 01:34 AM

I can make you laugh, and I can push your buttons, too.
Posted by: KC_Mike

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 02:55 AM

Think about something. If the top 1% of the people make 90% of the money, doesn't that mean they roughly account for 90% of personal tax revenues?

I mean, what does somebody on my income contribute tax wise? The government might be able to build one bomb with the tax revenue taken from my wages....if its a dumb bomb.

Now take a guy like Bill Gates. The government receives tax revenue from his personal finances and from the company he started. Had he never started a company...think how much tax revenue would be lost from Microsoft in the last 10 years alone. Not to mention the local tax revenues generated by the sale of Microsoft's prodcuts and services. Some people complain about the ultra-rich without considering how much they contribute to the system. Not only that, but the ultra rich, like Bill Gates, start companies that create jobs etc. How many of us 'regular joes' out there can say they contribute in that fashion?

I don't hear anybody complaining about all the illegal aliens who get paid cash under the table and don't pay into the tax system. Sometimes, I guess its just easier for some people to blame the rich.


Posted by: KC_Mike

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 03:40 AM

What if we never invaded Iraq and ten years from now a nuke goes off in a US city and we discover Saddam financed the operation...or maybe lent out his nuclear scientists to terrorists....or maybe allowed the safe passage of plutonium through his country etc etc.

Would people then say, "you know, we should have went in there and done something. Bush really failed by standing on the sidelines and doing nothing about Saddam/Iraq".

Sure, its easy to say things like that. But isn't that what some people said about Clinton? Didn't they say Clinton failed by not taking out Bin Laden and Al-qaida when he had the chance? Sometimes history does repeat itself.

Would you all rather we did nothing and not know what exactly was going on in Iraq? Or would you rather we took the chance even if it meant we might be wrong. And as far as that is concerned, I don't think the WMD is that clearcut. Maybe 5-20 years from now, we will really know the status of WMD. Everybody expects that we should know the truth and that everything should be clear. We didn't find any...thus they must have never existed right? Maybe or maybe not. Is the truth sometimes hard to come by. You bet it is. To this day nobody knows for sure who killed JFK, and that happened in our own country.

While I am not a Bush-lover, I do love my country and I can't stand the fact that so many people are so quick to judge......believing they know exactly what is going based on the news they watch or listen. If you believe what the news reports and that it is not skewed in any way, then I guess Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy right?

If you believe the news, then you also probably believe the ATF burning down the Davidian compound in Waco was an accident and that Koresh was a child-raping maniac. It took what, 2 years for the truth to come out about Waco. If you never saw the documentary about Waco...you need to see it. It's appalling how badly we were all lied to.



Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 03:52 AM

In reply to:

What if we never invaded Iraq and ten years from now a nuke goes off in a US city and we discover Saddam financed the operation...or maybe lent out his nuclear scientists to terrorists....or maybe allowed the safe passage of plutonium through his country etc etc.


Are you serious? Hypotheticals are never a good enough reason to go to war.

"I thought he was going to punch me next year, so I hit him today." Yeah. Uh huh.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 03:57 AM

In reply to:

It's appalling how badly we were all lied to


You forgot the one about how the Oklahoma City bombing was a government conspiracy. And how we never landed on the moon. It must be true because the media didn't tell us that.

Not everything the media tells us is a lie. It's often just not the whole truth.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 06:18 AM

[sarcasm]What if?

What if 10 years into the future Israel and the US aren't on good terms, and Israeli's give terrorists one of their nukes to use on us? Well, it's hypothetically possible, so we should go invade em now, just to make sure! And we know they've got weapons of mass destruction already!

On second thought, heck, it's hypothetically possible that every major world power, and a bunch of lesser powers might attack us sometime in the vague future. For the sake of protecting our own, I say we invade everyone! You're either with us or against us![/sarcasm]
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 10:47 AM

AdamP88, the hypothetical situations are pointless, but it is clear radical fundamentalist Muslims mean to kill US civilians now and in the future. What is the best way to combat such a foe?

And pmbuko, you cannot push my buttons - I refuse to click that link.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 11:46 AM

bigwill-

well, here.. try this link with big boobs

i also found this one interesting.. it has free HT

and rush limbaugh had some real bad stuff to say about kerry

bigjohn
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 01:32 PM

You almost got me with the "Big Boobs", bigjohn, but mama drowned all the dumb ones.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 03:00 PM

yes, BigWill. But Saddam is not a radical fundamentalist Muslim. Radical fundamentalist Muslims do what they do for the glory of Allah. Saddam does (did) it for his own glory.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 05:55 PM

Why are we still talking about the war? Saddam is a bad, bad guy - as bad as they come. Iraq will be better off without him, regardless of whether the US invasion was a violation of int'l law or not.

***And the war has done nothing to harm US/Arab relations. If anything it has provided the possibility for real change in the Middle East.***

It also turns out (according to the bi-partisan Senate Intelligence Committee's 9/11 report) that Bush didn't "lie" in the State of the Union Address about Saddam seeking uranium, or about Saddam having a relationship with Al Qaeda. While Saddam may not have been involved specifically in the 9/11 attacks, how can anyone possibly defend him or his brutal regime?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 06:15 PM

Not to jump to my brother's defense, or anything, but nobody here is a Saddam apologist. It's quite obvious he was bad and needed to be "toppled" in one way or another. Nobody is debating that fact. It's the "one way or another" part that (most rational) people have questions about.

The fact is, there was no immediate threat that warranted the haste in which we went about the military intervention -- even if the intelligence they had at the time of the planning -- Saddam seeking uranium, Saddam having relationship with al Qaeda, etc. -- was actually true.

Do you expect us to look at the past, brush it off, and just say "Bygones..." ?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 06:20 PM

"Why are we still talking about the war?"

Why are we still talking about the war?!!

Hell, if you're going to ask that, then why are we still talking about September 11? Or the Enron scandal? (oh, wait, we're not...)

It's a national event. It was precipitated by the President. It's an election year. Therefore, we should be looking at the President's prior performance in order to determine whether he should be reelected.

Interesting... I read an editorial at lunch today (unfortunately, I don't know which paper) that indicated that this is the Republication message at the moment: "What war?"
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 06:28 PM

In reply to:

It was precipitated by the President.


I wasn't aware our President was a chemist...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 06:32 PM

I said earlier that from a foreign policy POV it is yet to be seen whether the war will benefit the US or not. My personal feeling is that the war has done nothing to hurt our interests and has hastened the possibility of reform in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

It appears we will lose about a thousand of our guys over there with many more permanently injured. I sincerely hope that the sacrifices those guys have made was not in vain. From what I've read, the local families who have lost their sons and husbands want that to be the case as well.

The soldiers who return seem shocked at the negative portrayal of the war that is being fed to the public. From what I have heard the soldiers say, they are under the impression that they're over there doing good things for other people. That was not always the case in Vietnam, was it?

I just don't see how it can be argued that the war was "wrong" - without arguing that all wars are wrong.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 06:40 PM

Obviously we consume different media. I've heard reports of several soldiers coming home (the ones that actually get to come home...) and writing books, making commentaries, etc. against the war.

My feeling is that the war has inflamed anger towards us in the Islamic world. It has given the terrorists new excuses to attack us and recruit more people to attack us.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 06:43 PM

"I just don't see how it can be argued that the war was "wrong" - without arguing that all wars are wrong."

That last line is a huge leap. Wrong or not for this one is obviously open to debate(as we've seen here). I don't see many people saying the Revolutionary War was wrong, it was wrong to stop the Axis powers in WWII, or any number of other wars I could likely list with a little thought.

I guess if Bush Sr. just took out Saddam the first time that part wouldn't be an issue anyway....or who knows, maybe someone worse would be there all this time...it is tough to predict the future and play the what if game.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 10:09 PM

"My feeling is that the war has inflamed anger towards us in the Islamic world. It has given the terrorists new excuses to attack us and recruit more people to attack us."

You feel the anger coming out of the Middle East now because of all the attention the madia has been giving it as a result of 9-11 and events since. It has been there and been spreading for a long time. There are reasons for the anger - some real, some imagined - that have nothing to do with Bush or the war in Iraq.

The WTC was attacked twice by terrorists - the first time in '94 (?) and again 9-11. The 9-11 attack was in the planning stages probably during Clinton's first term (not trying to blame him at all), well before Bush and the Iraq war. How about the murder of Olympic athletes in Munich, Iranian hostage crisis in the late '70s, the 244 Marines that were killed by Libyan terrorists, the jumbo jet that was bombed out of the sky in Scotland, USS Cole bombing, apparently a failed assassination attempt against G.H.W. Bush, the millenium bombing plot foiled at the border by sheer luck, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch more examples. Remember the celebrations touched off all over the Middle East by the fall of the towers and the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians?

The anger has been there a long time, maybe your media sources were ignoring it before, when there was a Democrat in the Oval Office?

Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 10:22 PM

""Why are we still talking about the war?"

Why are we still talking about the war?!!

Hell, if you're going to ask that, then why are we still talking about September 11? Or the Enron scandal? (oh, wait, we're not...)"

Didn't see this one before!

I thought we had reached an intractable(?) position on both sides. You guys said it was going to work out poorly for us. I said it's impossible to know, but I'm hoping for the best as things in the region couldn't have been worse prior to the war.

What's left to discuss?


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/22/04 10:28 PM

I hate posting 3 in a row, but WTF.

"I don't see many people saying the Revolutionary War was wrong..."

I had a political philosophy professor who was a communist (with a little "c" he would emphasize) that said the American Revolution was a war started by a bunch of farmers who didn't want to pay their taxes. Hilarious.

He was a great old guy, always saying the most outrageous things to try to wake up the morons filling the seats. He called me a "nasty reactionary bastard", but I could see the twinkle in his eye.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 12:41 AM

Man, this thread keeps breathing....gotta love it. Figured I'd throw a couple things into the mix to stir things up:

1. Listened to the 9/11 news conference today. It's good to hear that they are taking the non-partisan tack. If they laid any blame, nothing would have come of their recommendations...assuming that something will happen now. It was actually surprising, since the actual hearings that I saw had an extreme partisan slant.....Kerry & Bienvenista (spelling?) were completely rude. It's wasn't the actual questions, it was the utter disrespect that they showed in their tone. They had total wood at the prospect of tacking this thing on Bush, so much that they lost their objectivity. Perhaps they were humbled by the republicans on the committee that reminded them that their boy had 8 years to handle this problem, including the Sudan/Bin Laden offer, and Bush had 8 months. I didn't say that I was going to be non-partisan.

2. Kind of concerned that no one from the left seems to show any concern about the findings concerning Saddam's quest to obtain uranium. Do they not realize that uranium is the missing link keeping one of these nutcases from turning Manhattan into a pile of dust? I remember when I found out a while back that we had proof that the Syrians/Sudanese (one of them) were brokering a deal between China and Hussein to obtain long-range rocket fuel. This is not the stuff that they fuel the SCUDs with. This is the grade of fuel that they pump into ICBMs. I brought this up in an argument/discussion and it didn't seem to sink in. Saddam was attempting to acquire fuel for weapons meant to traverse continents, not countries. Is there any confusion about what exactly he wanted this for? But, Hussein wasn't an imminent threat....or was he? Perhaps his threat was his willingness to sell his weapons to the terrorists. Perhaps he already sold some of those weapons to the terrorists. But, that shouldn't be a problem, since Hussein wasn't an imminent threat.

3. How about that story about 3 nucs being found in Iraq? For a minute, I was so pumped....before, they printed that it was a bogus story leaked by a local arab newspaper. Oh well.

4. I guess no one wants to bite on the Berger issue that I referenced last night. It's getting even tastier w/ reports that he asked the monitors that oversee people viewing these classified docs to step away so he could make personal calls (clearly against their policies). Those same monitors noted that he took an inordinate amount of trips to the restroom. They are also stating that they actually saw him stuffing the papers into his pants. But wait, this was just sloppiness on his part, right? The Dems, including Clinton, keep deflecting the issue by talking about "the curious timing". That way, they don't admit that he breached high level security protocols, which should land him behind bars. That tactic should sound familiar to Clinton. Rather than ever admit that he broke the law, he spent the entire time clamouring about the vast right wing conspiracy. Perhaps they did circle the wagons when they smelled blood, but Clinton was the one who drew that blood....or was that cigar residue?

OK, it's late and I'm done bantering.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 07:57 AM

i think one other interesting aspect to the 9/11 hearings, are the fact that they are being released 4 days before the democratic national convention. now some may see that as a boost for kerry, but i dont, and heres why.

in every poll i have seen, the american public sees bush as the better candidate to run the country during a war.. hence, he is a war president.. but, they see kerry as the better candidate at achieving financial stability, hence, an economic president. now, i am sure that was/is a major platform for the democrats to discuss during their convention next week.. but, with the 9/11 reports just being released.. now the thought of the war, and 9/11 in general, is back in the forefront of all americans minds.. its what everyone interested in politics is talking about. so, in my opinion, that will be a blow to the democratic party, cause if the majority of americans have 'war' on their minds, then it isnt a far stretch to think that they will have george w on their minds also..

this is an interesting angle that the democrats will have to be very careful about.. cause at their convention, they are gonna want to stress the things that they can do well for the country, and not the war, which most americans think the republicans will fair better at.

i am interested to see how the report will affect how, and what they say?

bigjohn
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 01:14 PM

In reply to:


but, they see kerry as the better candidate at achieving financial stability, hence, an economic president




I find that so laughable. I know your not saying its your view.. but really, look at teh economy, its definitely on the upswing.

If Kerry/Edwards are elected, this last little "recession" will look like a walk in the park...
The 2 things Kerry has already said he's going to do within the first 100 days of his presidency:

1) Increasing taxes will lead to decreased comsummer spending, which then leads to reduced corporate profits, which then leads to layoffs.

2) Doubling the minimum wage will result in rampant inflation, which leads to decreased comsummer spending, which then leads to reduced corporate profits, which then leads to layoffs
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 01:23 PM

In reply to:

its definitely on the upswing.



yes it is.. CAUSE WE ARE IN A WAR!!

that is the ONLY reason the economy gives the impression of being "on the upswing".. economy always booms during war cause the republicans are padding their big business buddies pockets.

i dont see george w making the US the most hated country in the world, as a fair trade off to getting a low interest rate on my used truck loan. yea, i am buying, so are a lot of us, but it still doesnt warrant an unjust war.

bigjohn

Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 01:50 PM

Wow, bigjohn! Lots of very loose associations there. I'd love to see you play connect the dots with those.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 01:59 PM

even more interesting, is gonna be watching the democrats try and play connect the dots next week..

and i am not sure which comment you think is a "loose association".. i have a tendency to ramble, so try and be specific.. i think i did no worse than the "what ifs", and "how would's" that i have seen on this thread.

i am sure the convention next week will give us PLENTY to talk about!

bigjohn
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 02:10 PM

heeh nutshell, I couldnt DISagree more with above statement

Slap someone in teh face with good news and they still don't beleive it.


Posted by: sidvicious02

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 02:14 PM

my apologies for hi-jacking an official hi-jack thread....

here's a news ditty about Stephen Hawking's new theory on black holes. You were correct Peter, doesn't look like they are quite as destructive as once thought, but I wouldn't plan a sight-seeing tour any time soon.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 02:20 PM

damn that totally ruin's some of the cooler episodes from Stargate SG-1

Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 02:50 PM

Loose association/generalizations-
#1:
"CAUSE WE ARE IN A WAR!!

that is the ONLY reason the economy gives the impression of being "on the upswing""

To prove that increased gov't spending regarding war costs is the only factor in the economic upswing would take many pages of argument - and would actually be impossible because it is simply not the only factor involved in the rebounding economy.

#2:
"economy always booms during war cause the republicans are padding their big business buddies pockets."

Most people seem to agree that wartime production increases result in a temporarily increased GNP, but the same effect could be achieved through investments in infrastructure or (gulp) increases in entitlement programs.
And I really, really believe that neither Bush nor any other high level elected official from either party would send American boys to their deaths to enrich their buddies. Profits could be increased for defense contractors by simply increasing military spending and stockpiling the stuff. No need to kill anybody.
Also, it's wrong to label the Republicans as the "war party". At other times the Democrats have been labeled the "war party" - Vietnam, WWII, etc...

#3:
"i dont see george w making the US the most hated country in the world, as a fair trade off to getting a low interest rate on my used truck loan."

We have been disliked for a long time. Many factors play into that. We have long been seen as culturally inferior to the European and Arab nations (in their eyes). Our success must make that even harder to bear.
Bush hasn't single handedly made us into the most hated country in the world, and I don't even think we are the most hated country in the world, but even if we are, who cares? Don't you guys all hate the Lakers and Yankees because they're always winning? Losers love to hate the winners.
And what in ternation does int'l opinion have to do with your truck loan?

#4:
"i am buying, so are a lot of us, but it still doesnt warrant an unjust war."

Not really a loose association, you're just implying that there is an increase in consumer confidence during a war. I've never heard that argued before.

I wasn't even going to post in this thread today, bigjohn!
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 02:54 PM

Great words there BigWill
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 03:08 PM

In reply to:

Slap someone in teh face with good news and they still don't beleive it



see, i could do the same to you with bad news, and you will still choose not to believe it.. ok, here we go..

our president is sending young americans to die in a war based on lies, and half truths.

george w makes everyone smile with his cash in hand tax break.. meanwhile, he hides the fact that the whole tax bill is to benefit the wealthy upper class, which only make up about 7% of the american population.

now, do you "believe" that slap??

bigjohn






Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 03:36 PM

In reply to:

I wasn't even going to post in this thread today, bigjohn




now bigwill.. you know that wasnt going to happen.. just like a republican, always in denial of the inevitable truth.

btw- i think i will stay away from this thread til next week.. there will be plenty more to say then..

ps- stay away from boston at all costs.. from what i have read, they are turning that town upside down.. and it will be worse in new york for the republican convention..

and lets all hope for one thing.. i dont want to be up til 5am on this years election night like i was on the last one 4 years ago.. for whoever wins, lets just hope it is decesive and uncontested! i dont think i could handle another flip-flop..

bigjohn
Posted by: ringmir

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 03:38 PM

In reply to:

ps- stay away from boston at all costs.. from what i have read, they are turning that town upside down




Unfortunately I live there. And yes, it will be mayhem.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 03:45 PM

I'm not trying to be facetious, or funny, or argumentative, bigjohn, but have you read Marx?

Here's a link to a very quick synopsis of the Communist Manifesto:

http://www.indepthinfo.com/communist-manifesto/synopsis.shtml

The Communist Manifesto itself is pretty easy reading as political philosophy goes. It leaves out all of the historical and philosophical rationale of Marx's other works and just presents the communist agenda as concisely as they could.

To analyze everything in terms of class conflict, rich vs. poor, IS Marxist philosophy.

To a great extent, it has permeated modern American thinking, affecting peoples' notions of what is "fair" and "unfair". I don't think most of us know it, though. I hear Marx in Disney movies, from Dan Rather, the local news, sitcoms, editorials, letters to the editor, etc... every day.
Posted by: sidvicious02

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 04:02 PM

ok....at the risk of taking sides or getting caught up in the politics thread (which is the most civil political discussion I have ever seen, kudos to all), I just want to wage in with one point.

Everyone says Saddam wasn't a threat to the US or the rest of the world. But my question is, what about his own people? No one ever really talks about what he did in that country and that to me, is the real crime. He butchered 1,000,000 of his own people for crying out loud - and people have the gall to say he didn't deserve to be removed!?! That makes me want to jump up and slap the person. It's a shame he wasn't removed earlier (and no need to repeat that Saddam was installed by the US - that's not the point).

I have travelled in Cambodia, walked through the killing fields and toured S-21. I've seen the emotional carnage that was brought to those people - the look of horror on their faces when you say the name Pol Pot. Saddam Hussein will undoubtedly leave similar physical and emotional scars on the Iraqi people that will take generations to heal.

For anyone that said the Iraq war was unjustified, I ask you, how many people does a dictator have to slaughter for it to become justified? Ten thousand? One Hundred thousand? Five Hundred thousand? A million? My god, Clinton went into to Yugoslavia to remove Slobodan and everyone thought he was a hero. Last tally I heard was Milosovic killed less than 1/4 the number of people Saddam did. Forgive my passion, but what the hell is wrong with this picture????????
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 05:19 PM

In reply to:


now, do you "believe" that slap??




Well no actually, because there is no proof of that.

There is proof the economy is on the rebound, stock market is up, jobs ARE being created. All the while inflation is low. Remarkable, its a shame you can't see that.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 05:28 PM

In reply to:

what the hell is wrong with this picture????????


I'll tell you exactly what's wrong with it.

The majority of the killing was done with weapons sold to Saddam by none other than the good 'ol U.S.A. That makes our gov't an enabler to the massacres. Nice foreign policy, eh?

Sure, he deserved to be taken out. Why did we prop him up to begin with?
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 05:34 PM

In reply to:

There is proof the economy is on the rebound, stock market is up, jobs ARE being created. All the while inflation is low. Remarkable, its a shame you can't see that



i can see that just fine inane.. but all that is true, due to the war.. the war based on lies and half truths..

what we have here is, failure to communicate!!

my head is hurting from us banging them together

bigjohn
Posted by: sidvicious02

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 05:37 PM

exactly my point...so why are people beating up George Bush over this? He correct an old wrong. (oh and I'm pretty sure Saddam would have killed those innocent people whether he had American weapons or not - doesn't make it right, but it is so).
Posted by: les9596

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 06:35 PM

SOAPBOX RANT=100% ALIGN RIGHT
It seems to me that everyone talks about how we did it for the wrong reason (Bush lied, people died), or we did it badly (Abu Gahrab), or that we did it to no good effect (quagmire!) All this, I think, is not only debatable, but misses the really important point.

Which is simply and powerfully that we did it. We changed reality. Whatever may happen, Saddam’s family will never rule Iraq again.

All the side issues we distract ourselves with are all about us, here in the West. Our goals. Our sins. Most often, our fears. But the real point of invasion always was and still is the people of Iraq. Their freedom, not our safety, is the prize today. Watch them, not us, because at this precise moment in history, they have a chance at real democracy.

Yes, they might fail. They’ve got little infrastructure to work with. Yes, we certainly could have given them a better start by doing better with the occupation. Yes, their history of sectarian violence might poison their efforts. But however many mistakes we made, however slim their chance, however “unfit” for democracy some judge them to be, they’ve at least got this chance.

Twenty five MILLION people have a chance.

It cost a thousand American lives. It will certainly end up costing many more Iraqi lives. And it all might end horribly. Or it might spread freedom throughout the Middle East. Who will stand up and say their chance wasn’t worth our sacrifice?

In fact, many people and nations did and continue to do just that. But that's a soapbox rant for another day.
/SOAPBOX

Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 07:10 PM

You know what? I don't object to Saddam being gone. I don't object to trying to start a democracy there. What I object to is this:

1. Preemption. We change the doctrine of the last x amount of years by hitting first.

2. Unilateralism. We don't wait for the proper process to happen. The UN was headed our way, it just would have taken a little while. Yeah, yeah, how many more would die, but still. Procedures should be followed, or we should pull out of the UN, and cause even more people to hate us.

3. We were lied to. We are still lied to. The revisionism is amazing. Now our primary motivation for going into Iraq was to remove Saddam. A year ago, our primary motivation was because of the "WMD."

4. WMD. Since when does everything need to be an acronym?!

5. A lack of a plan for the peace. Sure we won the war. Uh, now what? Let's make it up!

6. The War on Terror. Uh, what happened to Osama? Good lord, we're pulling people out of Afghanistan to go to Iraq!

7. North Korea. They've got ICBMs and Nukes. They've said so. We know it. They're irrational as hell. You know why we're not touching them? 'Cause under the Bush doctrine, they should be little piles of radioactive ash.

In short, I don't trust this administration to be making these kinds of decisions.

On the economy thing, here's something that will anger both sides. The President has almost nothing to do with the current economy. Clinton got lucky. Bush got unlucky, and he's starting to get a little lucky. We'll see what happens when the deficits come back to bite President Schwarzenegger. Or President Edwards.
Posted by: Wid

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 07:29 PM

In reply to:

We'll see what happens when the deficits come back to bite President Schwarzenegger.

I don't think you will ever see Arnold as President.You have to be a natural born citizen.

Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 07:37 PM

You forget the Constitutional Amendment! That's outdated... obviously we need to get rid of that part of the Constitution.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 08:21 PM

Les9596, that was excellent. I'm proud of that post and I had nothing to do with it.

"3. We were lied to. We are still lied to. The revisionism is amazing. Now our primary motivation for going into Iraq was to remove Saddam. A year ago, our primary motivation was because of the "WMD.""

kcarlie, you're obviously just funnin' us now, right?

I think that many people selectively remember only the WMD aspect of that speech Bush gave prior to the invasion of Iraq. The Democrats and the media have helped reinforce that false impression. If you press me, I'm sure I can google up the text of that speech.

Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 08:23 PM

Let me add another number:

An amazing unwillingness to admit a mistake!

You're probably right on number 3. But the emphasis shifted...
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 08:28 PM

Ba'athism is Arab National Socialism - it is Nazism. We cleaned up that scourge against humanity in Europe. I'm a lifelong democrat, but I'll admit that Bush did what needed to be done. If anyone thinks absolutely criminal regimes like the Ba'athist malignancy in Iraq has any legitimacy, they are either out of touch with reality, or moral imbeciles.

Adam, if you think a democratic Israel is a threat to the United States, I'd like you to share your reasoning with us. Seems to me, the only way Israel is a threat to the US is if the UN permits the Arabs to exterminate Israel's Jewish population and make Israel another Muslim country.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 08:43 PM

KC, United States' policy has, since 1947, always acknowledged that preemption was our national policy vis a vis the Soviet Union and China. The United States never agreed to sign any treaty by which we would renounce first use of nuclear weapons.

Please, take a look at what's happening in this world. Please explain how the world permits the genocide in Rwanda, or the current genocide in Somalia, or what the Ba'athist malignancy did in Iraq? Will the UN do anything about the genocidal anarchy of the Muslim south Sahara region? You can count on not only the impotence of the UN to do anything about Somalia, after all it is an Arab genocide and there are over 80 Islamic nations represented in the UN, but a UN which appears only offended by the policies of Israel or the United States.

This country can stick its head in the sand, like France, but if we do, we'll still be the target of an international war of Jihad which is being waged against us.

Do you think that we are being attacked because Muslims don't like our policies? Well, that's what war is about!

If you want to concede control of our policies to any extra-national group willing to fly jetliners into our buildings, or blow up our ships, or release pathogens in our cities, or poison our water, then you have declared the terrorists winners and conceded our sovereignty.

If you think that our sovereignty is equivalent to the sovereignty of malignant criminal regimes like the Ba'athists in Iraq, or the genocidal anarchy that is Somalia, then you're crippled by a moral relativism which concedes there is no morality, or which acknowledges that there is no difference between immorality and morality.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/23/04 10:02 PM

2x6, you don't sound like a Democrat - though all those pictures of you, the Clintons and Gore rubbing elbows leaves little room for doubt. LOL


Posted by: KC_Mike

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 12:37 AM

The UN was headed our way??? Um...I don't think so. For one, some of those countries had much to hide. For example, banned materials/products (including weapons) they were selling to Iraq in secret..against the UN resolution they signed.

Look, Iraq was big business to many of these countries and they didn't want that money flow to stop. I think the unraveling oil-for-food scandal is just another example of this.


Posted by: jtmccoy

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 02:56 AM

Okay, it's a bit a late, so this may not make an ounce of sense, but here's my somewhat off-the-wall take on Bush and his approach to the Iraq situation (just try to hang with me here):

Let's say Bush wants to get from point A to point B, so he decides to build a car. Fine, that makes sense--can't really argue with him there. Now, Bush has never built a car before. However, people who have built cars before advise him that he's going to need various types of metal alloys, rubber, and plastic and a team of good engineers and mechanics to fit it all together, plus a lot of gasoline. "Screw that," Bush says, "that sounds waaaaay too complicated." Nope, Bush just has a "gut feeling" that even though he's never built a car, never driven a car, in fact can't even pronounce "Saab" correctly, that he knows how to build a car. He has some good (i.e. wealthy beyond all imagination) friends who own a bakery, so he decides to give them the business and build his car out of doughnuts and frosting instead. "Besides," Bush figures, "it's a long trip, and if I should get a hankerin' for some grub, I can just take a bite out of my neat little doughnut-car." And, well, lo and behold, the damn thing just don't work. Go figure.

Okay, so like I said, it's a bit late.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 03:05 AM

In reply to:

But the real point of invasion always was and still is the people of Iraq.




No disrespect intended, but - bullshit. It could possibly be the greatest benefit of the war (only time will tell), but it definitely wasn't the main reason for the war. Otherwise the Bush administration would've been saying so from the get-go. Instead it was "imminent threat" and "weapons of mass destruction" and "ties to Al Qaeda" - and then FINALLY when all those weren't enough it became the Operation Iraqi Freedom we all know and love today.

This never was and never will be a primarily humanitarian mission. The US needed to gain another stronghold in the region, and in the process conveniently depose of someone who'd worn out his welcome. The fate of the Iraqi people is and always has been completely secondary to the benefit of gaining more control in the area and also gaining more control over the flow of oil. Let's face it, if the Middle East wasn't the huge oil producing region it is, we wouldn't have much of an interest in the place. What happened after we toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan? Haliburton and Chevron got their wet dream of finally being able to build a pipeline through the country. Installing a US-friendly Iraqi government in a country sitting on a huge oil reserve was I'm sure more on the minds of the administration than the livelihood of the people inhabiting the country.

Now let's say that saving the people of Iraq from a cruel dictator was the main reason for the war. There is a problem with that angle. And that problem is Africa. Whether by massacres and genocide, disease and epidemics (AIDS), cruel dictatorships or just plain malnutrition, the state of living for the average African is far more dire than the average Iraqi. Take Rwanda. The Congo. Sudan (hey, if we're going to right a wrong, how about we build a new pharmaceutical plant to replace the one we blew up, so the Sudanese people can receive treatment for various diseases, like TB, at a price they can actually afford, rather than dying by the thousands from treatable diseases). Anyway, my point is, the US has never been altruistic when it comes to using it's might. And though there are millions of Africans truly struggling for survival every day, who are far more deserving of a better way of life than those whose main struggle is for rights and not survival , they are denied that chance because they have little to offer the US in return.

If Iraq was not sitting on top of oil and not in the hotbed that is the Middle East, and if Saddam was just as cruel, no, if he were twice as cruel, we would not have invaded, plain and simple.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 04:57 AM

Adam, the US cannot feed the world.

Why is Africa such a mess? Corruption, religious war - jihad for Sharia in Niger, Chad, Mali, Nigeria, and on and on. Iraq was a threat, the sanction regime was breaking down thanks the the French, Russians and Germans, and if the Ba'athists had the full flow of oil revenues, do you doubt they would have had an armory of WMD?

I think the idea of democratizing Iraq is farcical, but at least the Ba'athists are out of power.

You think the US is not motivated by altruism? Why did we go into Somalia under Clinton? You may have forgotten but it was because of the famine and all those babies with distended bellies and flies feeding off their eyes. We went in with food and they hacked our guys to pieces. Why? Because our guys were Christian and the fattest part of the bell curve of the distribution of normative values in that part of the world is Jihad coupled with the governmental system of repose in that part of the world - warlordism.

You may see yourself as a highly evolved, tolerant and loving person, and figure that everyone else would be the same if their bellies were full. That is a materialist delusion which does not give religious fanaticism its due.

There's evil in the world, it's at war with us. Take a stand. Tolerance is the hallmark of liberalism, but tolerance of evil is folly.


Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 07:14 AM

I wasn't aware that I was taking the stance of tolerating evil. If anything, I'm speaking out against the tolerance of evil if it's in a part of the world we're not interested in.
Posted by: twodan19

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 07:36 AM

keeping quite to this point--maybe we propped him for the same reason people buy bose, easy, and best uninformed choice at the time?
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 09:34 AM

Ok... I've been laying low for a while because of what I perceived as a complete lack of civil discourse and tolerance for people who have a different opinion. I am a Republican, and I really resent being labelled racist, homo-whatever, hate the poor, intolerant, etc... I am none of those things. Since THIS discussion seems to be one in which we can freely express our opinions without getting flamed, I'll toss in my .02 on a few topics. KC listed them out, so I'm going to rip him off

1. Preemption. We change the doctrine of the last x amount of years by hitting first.

BigWill listed MOST of the prior attacks on us that have been going on since 1970. Exactly how many times does one need to be attacked before retaliation is not considered "preemption". They took shots at us for years, and we did nothing. If we had attacked back in 1960, then THAT would have been preemption.

2. Unilateralism. We don't wait for the proper process to happen. The UN was headed our way, it just would have taken a little while. Yeah, yeah, how many more would die, but still. Procedures should be followed, or we should pull out of the UN, and cause even more people to hate us.

The UN was NEVER going to "head our way". 2 points here. #1, the UN supported Gulf War. Saddam signed a cease fire agreement that provided for unlimited inspections. If he really had none, he would have let us look anywhere and everywhere that we wanted. Nothing to hide, right? He didn't. When hostilities resumed after the violation of the cease fire agreement, the original (UN approved) Gulf War started up again, correct? Sounds legal enough to me.

Second, individuals in the French, German, and Russian governments were receiving kickbacks from Saddam and the oil for food program. As long as Saddam had a lock on Iraq, those people were guaranteed a supply of free money. They were NEVER going to vote to remove him. He could have killed 3 million more people on camera, and they would not have voted to remove him. The UN is corrupt, period. We should not trust the destiny of the American people to them.

3. We were lied to. We are still lied to. The revisionism is amazing. Now our primary motivation for going into Iraq was to remove Saddam. A year ago, our primary motivation was because of the "WMD."

We were not lied to. Every intelligence agency in the world knows Saddam had, used, and was still developing other WMDs. They were there. Sooner or later, they will turn up. He had plenty of time to hide, or move the ones he had before we rolled in. Maybe the UN called him, and told him that they couldn't stall the US any longer? Another point. Given the desire of about 50% of the American population to be politically correct at all times, the President can't simply come on TV, say "Saddam violated the cease fire agreement, leaders all over the world are being bought off, and oh by the way, we need to go hunt down and kill these radical Islamists wherever and whenever we can.". The liberal press would have a field day with that. I listen to what Bush said prior to the war. If you heard anything other than what I just typed in quotes when you listened to him, then you just missed his point. The story was the same, beginning to end. It's just hard to put that in a sentence that meets the PC standard. He said the same thing, with the same intention repeatedly. It was clear as a bell, just as I typed it, and it never changed.

4. WMD. Since when does everything need to be an acronym?!

I agree. WTF?

5. A lack of a plan for the peace. Sure we won the war. Uh, now what? Let's make it up!

Uh, lets apply this to the fire department. "Uh... we're sorry sir, we can't come out there and put that fire out at your house because the architect hasn't called us with the new floor plans yet." Basic rules of emergencies. Handle the situation at hand first, then deal with the aftermath. Basic rules of business. Avoid "analysis paralysis". Do not spend so much time analyzing that the opportunity you were examining passes you by. Bush's plan for peace was simple. Take out the dictator. Stop shooting. Leave.

6. The War on Terror. Uh, what happened to Osama? Good lord, we're pulling people out of Afghanistan to go to Iraq!

Did you notice that we stompped all over Afghanistan, and not one peep from the radical Islamic community. We went into Iraq, and they're coming out of the woodwork. Maybe we struck a nerve? Based on their reaction alone, I'd say we're getting warmer. We've plucked a nerve to be sure. We MUST be doing something right.

7. North Korea. They've got ICBMs and Nukes. They've said so. We know it. They're irrational as hell. You know why we're not touching them? 'Cause under the Bush doctrine, they should be little piles of radioactive ash.

It worked with the Soviet Union. Now our President does lunch with their President. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 09:43 AM

In reply to:

2x6, you don't sound like a Democrat - though all those pictures of you, the Clintons and Gore rubbing elbows leaves little room for doubt. LOL




I just hope he took a shower afterwards!
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 01:19 PM

Adam wrote:

"I wasn't aware that I was taking the stance of tolerating evil. If anything, I'm speaking out against the tolerance of evil if it's in a part of the world we're not interested in."

Hello Adam

I think the point is the US cannot right every wrong in the world. We have to be guided in our conduct by our national interest and threats to our national interest. The US gives billions of dollars in food and credits to the world. A non trivial percentage of our largesse is stolen by corrupt elites, much is then sold rather than given to starving people. International food aid to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, IRAQ, are cases in point. The US couldn't really intervene militarily in Rwanda because there are no effective regional cooperative groups and how were we supposed to project force to Rwanda surrounded by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda? How come Rwanda's neighbors tolerated the murder of hundreds of thousands of Tutsies by Hutus? Why do you fault US intervention in Iraq and fault us for not intervening in Rwanda?

How about Somalia? We went in to save that region from anarchy, systematic murder, rape, and starvation, and our soldiers were attacked and hacked to pieces. Why? Because it's better to starve than be humiliated by the infidel Christians.

It's a weird world and many hate the US not for the reasons you find to criticize our society, but because of our religions and secular society.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 05:50 PM

Man, I absolutely love this post!

Been away for a while, so I wanted to pick and choose a few things to take shots at:

1. "i dont think i could handle another flip-flop.." Bigjohn - If you can't handle another flip-flop election, how are you going to handle 4 years of flip-flops?....So far, that is Kerry's modus operandus, so it's fair to assume that we should expect that from a Kerry/Edwards administration. "I voted for the $87 Billion before I voted against it."

2. kcarlile - You already took a beating over your statements about the UN "coming around" and staying within procedures, but I have to hit you up on that one too. You REALLY need to rethink your stance on the motivations and credibility of the UN. The corrupt and self-serving actions of the major powers within the UN have been exposed for all to see. Their credibility is severely damaged after 10 years of being defied without repercussion. Over time, their role in these different scandals will further damage their credibility. The UN has never acted in the best interest of the US. US interests cannot be their only driver, but they have an obligation not to act in direct opposition to the interests of one of it's largest members and by far the largest contributor. Everyone wants to have this utopia with a unified governing body that maintains the peace between nations, but people need to reconsider their views of the UN being this body. They have done absolutely NOTHING to deserve that level of respect from us.

3. 2X6, you are definitely the local scholar on affairs in Africa. I will definitely admit my ignorance in that arena.

4. jtmccoy - You REALLY have to avoid posting that late at night.

5. Adam - You have swallowed the left conspiracy theory hook, line, and sinker. Do you truly think that we are going to come out of this with some kind of unending supply of oil? Yes, we might come out of this with a good trade partner once the country settles down. But, as we ALWAYS do, the US will leave Iraq a sovereign nation free to do with their oil what they see fit. The only ones with blatant interests in hijacking their oil are the UN members, who are very pissed off that we busted up their party.

6. I'm kind of getting tired with the whole dialog about why we didn't attack such and such banter. The only reason we outright invaded Iraq is because we had permission. However much no one wants to believe it, the UN resolutions gave us the permission to enforce the consequences of Iraq's defiance. Given the evidence we had at the time of Iraq's thread, along with the existing UN resolutions, the US made a choice to finally enforce the resolutions of the impotent UN....something that was long over-due.

We all need to face it; we did it because we could. We would love to beat the crap out of all of the dysfuntional regimes out there, but it's not practical.

7. As a final note, I want to throw out another thought. I am getting sick and tired of hearing about this crap about Bush not winning the election. That seems to pop up a lot when a Democrat gets really wired up and wants to scream about Bush. The problem is the fact that they're wrong. Studies following the election show that Gore would NOT have won based upon ALL of the different recount variations that he requested in his lawsuit.

That issue may seem a bit arbitrary, but it was on my mind. I like the Beasties Boys, but their recent cd has numerous songs bitching about Bush, including statements about him not being elected by us.

OK....that's my 2 cents.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 08:30 PM

Adam wrote:

In reply to:

Now let's say that saving the people of Iraq from a cruel dictator was the main reason for the war. There is a problem with that angle. And that problem is Africa. Whether by massacres and genocide, disease and epidemics (AIDS), cruel dictatorships or just plain malnutrition, the state of living for the average African is far more dire than the average Iraqi. Take Rwanda. The Congo. Sudan (hey, if we're going to right a wrong, how about we build a new pharmaceutical plant to replace the one we blew up, so the Sudanese people can receive treatment for various diseases, like TB, at a price they can actually afford, rather than dying by the thousands from treatable diseases). Anyway, my point is, the US has never been altruistic when it comes to using it's might. And though there are millions of Africans truly struggling for survival every day, who are far more deserving of a better way of life than those whose main struggle is for rights and not survival , they are denied that chance because they have little to offer the US in return.




We are not denying anyone in Africa their "chance" for survival. We are not responsible for one genocidal, corrupt regime after another which marks the governments of Africa. The US gives an enormous amount of food aid. We cannot stop the local despots from stealing a non trivial portion of that aid. We are not responsible for the AIDS epidemic in Africa. African governments reject Western pharmaceuticals for the treatment of AIDS because their party-line is that AIDS is not caused by a virus. Kenya is the exception and has an effective abstinence program. The conventional wisdom in Africa is that if a man contracts AIDS he should have sex with a young virgin. As you might expect, rape is simultaneously rampant and ineffective as a treatment. Muslim populations in Africa refuse polio and measles vaccines because their wise men tell them these vaccines are part of Jewish plot to cause infertility among Muslim men thereby depriving them of their "demographic weapon."

It's about time people take responsibility for their own lots. I don't know how a peaceful person can deal with warlords and their "technicals" children armed with AK47s and Toyota 4wd pick up trucks mounting 20 caliber machine guns, but that's the world of sub Saharan Africa. Why don't you expect Saudi Arabia, a neighbor to use some of their petro dollars to help people? All their "aid" is funding for Islamic centers which propagate the Wahabi Jihadist philosophy and terror. Israel gives more aid to Africa than Saudi Arabia which is swimming in enormous petro wealth.

You want the US to deal with the abomination of North Korea? Fine, convince the South Koreans that we should do that, or do you want us to act unilaterally in the Korean peninsula?

Forgive me for saying, but your comments appear to be well meaning but confused and based on misperceptions of global, regional and local realities.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/24/04 09:25 PM

I've been staying out of this one lately but still following it because honestly, you're all in over my head as far as my knowledge of what goes on out there in the world goes(especially you with the Africa stuff 2x6). However, I would like to say that this has to be one of the most interesting threads I have read on here in a while. Maybe I am just starting to get tired of the which speaker should I get, the M22 or the M60 threads
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/25/04 12:24 AM

I enjoy this thread. Kudos to everyone for being at least somewhat civil. I've only needed to apologize once.

3rd World poverty, epidemics, dysfunctional economies/gov'ts, brutal tribal violence, etc... is tragic. And we also have great suffering here at home.

Solutions appear hard to come by there. Adam Smith would suggest that eventually all the world will have their lots lifted as economic progress continues, but most folks seem to dislike the MNCs and their involvement in the 3rd World.
Posted by: jtmccoy

Re: OT: politics - 07/25/04 07:47 PM

Turbodog,

What, you don't think if Kerry used my masterful "Bush and his doughnut car" analogy in his speeches, he would win the election in a landslide?!

Okay, yeah, you're right...no more posting at 3am for me.
-JT
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 12:40 AM

I want to change up a little...

I am pro Bush but I will list the things I believe he is wrong about.

1) Homeland security: Yup, not enough is/has been done. Perhaps the miiiiiiiiiiiiles of red tape that average joe doesn't know about it keeping him from changing much but I think the 911 commision had some good points about how we ARE going to be attacked again. I've heard lots of good ideas on what needs to be done. Government bureaucracy is going to ruin the day once again, perhaps the Libertarians are right on some things... There is NO reason the national guard isn't patroling BOTH our borders. And then there is the whole port authority inspection process.

2) Perscription Bill: Good intentions, bad implimentation. It's just more overhead stacked onto a failing social security. I will conceed I believe this was done to help in his relection (he is a politician afterall )

3) Amneisty. I just think its a bad idea to reward ppl for breaking the law, what's going on in cali is laughable (the laws they are trying to pass in some areas). The whole *we need ppl to take jobs ppl don't want* is just a bad arguement. By saying that you are advocating an ACTUAL lowerthanlow class.

4) Constitution Amendment. The gay marriage issue is just not something that needs to be stamped into the constitution ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. That is totally a social issue that needs to be worked out amoungst our nation. Personally I have not yet worked up an opinion to that issue.

5) Spending. I'm not against funding things that need to be funded but we NEED smaller government. Perhaps this moment in history is just not a good time to stand by those principles, I donno. One could equate it to objecting to military spending during ~1943, sometimes you just have to do something.

6) etc, I know there is prolly more I just can't think of it right now.

That said, I still believe THIS President is honorable and doing an overall FINE job.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 07:33 AM

I'm somewhere in the middle, but I'm glad to see someone that is pro Bush admit he is wrong about some things. A lot of pro Bush people seem to think you agree with everything as he does or you are a Dem, Anti-american, etc. No matter which side you fall on, people need to be able to think for themselves instead of just blindly agreeing with everything their party leader says.

My biggest with Bush is the spending. We likely need to raise taxes ( a little) and cut spending ( a lot) in order to a surplus and starting paying off our enormous debt. Any business would have been bankrupt a long time ago.

I realize this is not just Bush and it has been going on for a long time. The budget thing they had that forced balanced spending (add some here, take away from here) that ended in 2002 ( I believe) was a good start in that direction, but it has ended under Bush.

As long as I don't think they are a complete moron on other issues, my vote goes to the guy that will start putting a plan in place to fix the deficit. We're throwing money away on interest and debt, whereas if there was an overall surplus (I know, it will take a long time) we could actually be getting some interest and having extra money from that to put into things.

People and businesses must have a surplus (in the long run) to survive and not go bankrupt...why not govt?
Posted by: FordPrefect

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 09:56 AM

Getting a little off topic.....

Our local tv station ran a bit on how Americans living in Canada are being urged (by other Americans) to register for the vote. The feeling is that if it's a close election their votes can make a difference.

Apparently there are about 600,000 living here. I think that represents more votes than the state of Wyoming or Montana.


Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 10:12 AM

Zarak and Inane,

I agree completely. As a matter of fact, when the polls show that Bush's approval is falling, I believe it. The reason? Republicans like us that do not like SOME of the things that he has done. My points of contention are:

1) - Security & imigration. To me, these are one and the same. No freaking amnesty. Every time the police arrest anyone, they should verify citizenship. If you don't have the paperwork saying you belong here or do not have a valid visa, then we should immediately take your behind to the US border that faces the direction you need to go, and toss you out. No stop home for clothes, no nothing. Gone. On the spot deportation. If you wanna be here, fill out the friggin paperwork. Note, this issue is also one that the Dems try to paint us as racist on. I'll clarify. I don't give a damn if you are from Mexico, Norway, Australia, France, Germany, Iran, whatever. What I'm talking about applies to everyone. No racist undertones about it. You are WELCOME here if you fill in the paperwork, and we say it's OK to be here.

2 - Spending. WTF? I know the last election was close, and he is trying to win over a few center-left folks for this time around, but come on! He let Ted (burp) Kennedy write the education bill. That thing is a virtual botttomless pit of money. ( Then he lets himself get kicked in the head every day for over 3 years by the DNC saying he cut spending(?). AND HE WON'T FIGHT BACK! Arggggh! )

3 - Aw, shoot. You get the point. There are more.

The important thing for the Dems to remember is that even though a LOT of us that support W are not 100% perfectly happy with him. If I was polled tomorrow, I would probably give him a low approval rating. A large portion of Bush's low approval rating is the fact that his own base thinks he's not far enough to the right. Thay being said, my choices are to vote for him in November or to vote for Joh... whoaaa!!! what am I saying? Stop. Rewind. It's either vote for Bush, or write in Mickey Mouse.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 02:21 PM

I would have to agree with just about everything you guys just said. Bush knows his conservative base will vote for him in Novemeber, so he gives voters the appearance of moving left to attract more moderates. Same with Kerry, he knows the left will vote for him so he's been trying to move right a little to get the moderates, as well.

One other Bush complaint. Before 9-11 his biggest issue seemed to be the faith-based social services thing. I think the country would benefit from a return to individual responsibility, strong family values, and caring communities, but funding churches so that they can dispense welfare will not fly with the Supreme Court's current interpretation of the Constitution.

Regarding deficits, nowhere are the problems more clear than in California's current dilemna. During a recent period of economic boom the state gov't filled their coffers to a record surplus. The amateurs in the legislature and the pansy in the governors office increased spending like nobody's business. Economic boom ended, tax revenues plummeted, and now it's either raise taxes or cut spending (or put it on a credit card, which is what is most likely to happen ).

IMO, the key to increasing tax revenues is increasing economic activity and production. To make it through inevitable periods of contraction or stagnation, the gov't needs to spend prudently during good times and bad. Some deficit spending won't hurt during those lean times, but sheesh! Arnold has been unable to cut spending anywhere without special interests rallying the media into a frenzy.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 06:56 PM

I've been enjoying this thread immensely, especially since TurboDog graced us with that rather large brain dump many many posts ago.

While many of my opinions are still on the liberal side of the equation, I've read enough from the flip-side (no, not the flip-flop side) to give me a reason to re-evaluate my stance.

I've always been a moderate at heart and believe that both sides have valid ideas to offer. It's great to see this thread serving as an example that real political debate is possible -- and can be fruitful, as well. It should be required reading for Congress.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 07:05 PM

Hi BigWill

Must respectfully disagree about the California deficit. We had a surplus of BILLIONS OF DOLLARS - every penny of which was LOOTED by Enron, El Paso Natural Gas, etc. I think the oil companies did the same thing on a national scale - they stole the tax refund by increasing prices - their profits have gone up, your wallet thickness has gone down and there's no reason for it but greed.

Market manipulations corrupt the operation of a free market.


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 07:27 PM

I just came across a great article that might have you seeing cross-eyed for a bit. (His main point is that Bush is the liberal and Kerry is the conservative.)

http://www.andrewsullivan.com/print.php?artnum=20040725

Opinions?
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 07:57 PM

I guess my 13% raise was imaginary?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 08:10 PM

WHAT?? So even teachers are stealing money from the poor??

j/k. Sweet. It's good to know some things are going well. Did all teachers with good performance records get raises, or just the ones who intimidate their bosses?
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 08:15 PM

"Kerry insists that he is a fiscal conservative, aiming to reduce the deficit by tax increases."

That statement in the article made no sense. Fiscal conservative would cut spending.

He does have some good points, but protectionist tariffs for the steel industry could be construed as vital for nat'l security. Same goes for the pre-emptive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It does appear, though, that he is on to something when he says Bush does not favor strong states' rights. Never noticed that.

"Radical jurists" being appointed to the bench? From what I have distilled from the local paper, the appointments only look radical to the far left. Maybe 2x6 or JohnK know more about that?

Regardless, a few conservative judges will hardly be sufficient to counter to the huge number of judicial-activist hippies that have been appointed in the past (can you say "9th Circuit Court of Appeals"?).


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 08:29 PM

Well, I try not to intimidate the boss, but he does seem to leave me alone. That's good.

Even non-Union district gave their teachers substantial raises. It also meant that the janitors, secretaries, administrators, etc... all got "me-too" raises. Many custodians make more than the young teachers.
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 08:48 PM

600,000 ?

When are you guys gonna run those slacker yankees out of there? Take them to the egde of one of the Great Lakes, and give them a shove in our direction !!!

Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 09:57 PM

Just a few comments on some of the recent dialog and that article:

Yes, Bush has absolutely strayed far from many traditional conservative views that he preached when trying to get into that office. The biggest area where this has manifested itself is in his spending. The Bush administration is spending us into oblivion, just like a Democratic president. The root of this problem is the fact that, just like any good politician, Bush has decided to prostitute the American taxpayers to get himself reelected. A prime example of this is that prescription drug benefit. This bill was a completely careless blanket piece of legislation aimed solely to capture that evergroing elderly vote...an appeal to their apparent sense of entitlement. Yes, I will admit that there are many elderly that need assistance with their medication...don't they call that Medicare? Regardless, this bill gives every elderly member of society access to this benefit, regardless of his or her financial status....UTTERLY CARELESS PANDERING!!!!

As others have stated, I may presently support Bush for reelection, but it's not a blanket support. If you gave me a valid candidate who is tough on defense and fiscally conservative (like JFK), I'd be the first in line to vote for him/her. The problem is that the Democratic party has gone so far left of it's original roots that it's alienated those of us moderates that once counted themselves in the ranks of the libs.

Along the above line of reasoning, those from both sides of the fence should consider reading Zell Miller's book - A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat. If you put aside the Democratic Party line about Miller being a Republican in disguise, you'll read some interesting things. In his book, you will see admiration for the likes of JFK and Clinton, presidents that he views as true old-school democrats. You'll also see what you can find when you pull back the curtains on a political party. Both parties are to some degree in the pocket of outside groups. Miller gives you a glimpse of how that influence manifests itself.

While I'm being a literary promoter, you guys should consider reading a book by John Stossel - Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media. It's a great book about many different issues and the role the media plays in those problems. He has been pigeonholed by his peers because he has dared to examine the way that the media often makes things worse. Regardless, it's a worthy read for both liberal and conservative alike. The only problem is that it really shows you how absolutely screwed up things are and how little we can do to fix it.

OK, back on topic....."Kerry insists that he is a fiscal conservative, aiming to reduce the deficit by tax increases". This alone proves that Kerry doesn't have a clue about fiscal conservatism. Fiscal conservatives realize that the government does not create wealth and prosperity. The role of government is to protect us as a nation and to protect the rights and liberties of individuals. Anything beyond that is beyond the scope of the federal government. When you take that view of government, you see that our government is a spending menace, which is beyond out of control. The only way to cure this is to cut both taxes and spending simultaneously. To do so, we need a politician with the balls to truly stir up the system with real reform in mind. Unfortunately, I don't see anyone out there in the political arena that fits that bill....and I'm not holding my breath for it (jaded, but realistic).

Kerry can talk a good game about conservative spending, but his record does not indicate this type of philosophy. Kerry is part of this bloated government animal that views the government as the all-knowing all-important vessel charged with saving the American people from having to take any semblance of responsibility for their own lives.

So, in the end, we have a Republican president that has no clue about true fiscal conservatism, but is quite willing to take on that primary government function of protecting the American people. On the other side, we have a Democratic challenger that melds his platform to fit the views of his audience....a challenger that is so concerned with international opinion that he is willing to cow-tow to a international body that serves it's own interests and not those of the United States....a challenger that is vocal about his belief that government is the solution to all problems...a challenger that wants to increase taxes.

Come Election Day, I may think Bush is a moron politician, but he is the better of two evils, because he is going to continue to stay on the offensive in this war on terror. Kerry wants to continue with a more defensive approach, which may sound good.....at least until the next terrorist attack that levels a US city and kill millions of Americans. This is not a time for an American president that wants to return to the status quo. We did that in the late 90's and then got kicked in the balls on 9/11.

Man, I can't post a short response, can I? I guess I just get going when I see a chance to vent.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/26/04 11:59 PM

But your posts are always some of the best, so we don't mind.



Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/27/04 12:03 AM

2x6, I'm sure the energy "crisis" didn't help, but I just looked at the budget numbers for this year (I'm sure past budgets look similar).
The state plans to spend $40 billion on Education (K-12 & higher ed. combined) and $25 billion on Health and Human Services. If I remember correctly, the total budget was along the lines of $76 billion. That doesn't leave much room for anything else. Whatever Davis pissed away on those energy contracts, it is a pittance compared to the above numbers.

Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/27/04 06:28 PM

OK...Did you guys think that I was going to let this thread just fade away?...No way!

Anyone watch the DNC? Clinton kicked butt, as usual. No matter what you think of his politics, he can really energize a room. No wonder they put him on the first day...need a little breathing room between him and Kerry. Kerry will be the lullaby at the end.

Too bad Gore took his prozak. I was hoping to see another one of his evangelical tyrades. That part must have ended up on the Kerry camp cutting room floor. Too bad.


Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/27/04 06:43 PM

i agree. clinton is the man at giving speeches. i swear, that guy could sell a freezer to an eskimo living in an igloo on the north pole. he just has something about him when he talks.

and NO MORE, GOREO!!! geez louise, did he have to suck-face on tipper like that?? i was about to toss my dinner!! thats about enough of that.

all in all, good first day.. i could have done without hillary.. she needs to take some ques from her husband.. she is too mono-tone.. she kinda souns like she is whinning the whole time.. funny thing is.. she really hopes, deep down, that george w will win the election, so she will be set up as the 2008 demo candidate.. whatcha think about them apples??

bigjohn
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/27/04 06:50 PM

Putting aside her politics....do you think the country is ready for a female president by 2008?
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/27/04 06:54 PM

nope, but we will see..

bigjohn
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 07/27/04 07:42 PM

Hmmm... I like this thread. Politics shouldn't be a topic to be avoided. Without open dialog, all you know about the other side's position is what your party tells you. They ARE trying to influence your decision, you know. What they say may not be exactly correct.

Turbodog said it. I'd pick Zell Miller over Bush, Kerry, or just about everyone else. As a matter of fact, I can't think of anyone in either party that I would vote for against him. I trust him completely, he's a good man.

As to the voting for a woman in 2008? Yeah, I would do it. Condoleza (sp?) Rice - She's smart enough, strong enough, and (IMO) trustworthy enough. I'd love to see a qualified, black, female, Republican run against Hillary. Talk about a confused base. It would take the race card right out of the Dems deck...
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/27/04 09:19 PM

Hillary: I don't see it. She is a Democratic rock star right now...something I really don't understand. She is a terribly bland speaker with a message of simple Socialism. Perhaps that's her appeal, our nation's rising sense of entitlement.

Condi vs Hillary: I love it!!! The only thing against Condi is the association with Bush which might be hard to shake. I bet those would be some great debates.

Zell Miller: I too really can appreciate this man's message. He is a true old school Democrat...the good parts of the party. Now, I wish we could have a Republican with enough balls to pull back the curtain on the Republican's like Miller did to the Democrats. The people as a whole really need to understand how outside influences plague both parties and corrupt the process of government down to it's core. Yes, that's pretty idealistic...one can only hope.

Michael Moore: I just watched O'Reily's interview with Michael Moore. That man is truly dillusional. He is so deadset on getting rid of Bush that he won't accept simple logic. Whenever he is painted into a corner during an argument, he snaps back, changing the subject or distorting the facts to fit his point....sort of like his movie.

Edward Kennedy: still the ever-bleeding heart

Predator vs Alien (AVP): COOL!!!!

Xanadu: Olivia was so damn hot!!! ..... Sorry, the wife was channel surfing.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/27/04 11:39 PM

As you can see thus far, I am not scared to talk.

More Opinions

Howard Dean: Still has that unhinged insane look in his eye. I so wanted him to scream that lunatic howl again.

Barack Obama: This guy is a future star!! He has the eloquence and fire of Bill Clinton. As they panned in on Hillory, I have to wonder if she felt that cold chill of someone walking over her grave.....the footsteps of a man named Barack that will be the man to crush her hopes of being the next Democratic president.

Thereza Heinz Kerry: I have to summon the angels of freedom and liberty to see if they can explain to me what the hell she was talking about. Through environmental policy and leadership we are going to reenergize the spirit of America.....Through the faces of our Peace Corps volunteers, we will restore the dwindling faith in the American ideal....BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.....She thinks entirely too much...perhaps in too many languages. The problem is that those thoughts aren't very coherent. In her mind, in this era of terrorism, our saving grace is indeed going to be the idealistic gazes of the birkenstock-wearing peace corps volunteers (I can say that since I have a pair ).

I think that Thereza seems to have missed the lesson of Hillary and Bill. The American public wants to elect a president, not a first lady. We are not voting for her ideas. I don't think that she just did justice to Kerry's campaign. She pretty much made a Thereza Heinz speech and not a candidate's spouse speech. If anything, the beginning of her speech almost gave kudos to the liberating actions of Bush.

Oh well.....In the end, I don't think my first impressions is that I want to see her as our first lady. Take the presidency out of the mix and I'm left with the impression that she's kind of a space cadet mired in her own flighty thoughts.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 12:27 AM

In reply to:


funny thing is.. she really hopes, deep down, that george w will win the election, so she will be set up as the 2008 demo candidate.. whatcha think about them apples??




Not funny, its absolutely true. I believe Kerry would make a bad President because I don't believe he could make the hard decisions, or the right ones. Hillary, now she just comes across as a female version of the devil! Seriously!

Bill thou, he was the master used-car-salesman-President, nobody will deny that.

Oh how I miss Reagan. Was he not the best President ever when it came to talking TO the American ppl.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 04:34 AM

In reply to:

I believe Kerry would make a bad President because I don't believe he could make the hard decisions, or the right ones.


Why?

In reply to:

Oh how I miss Reagan. Was he not the best President ever when it came to talking TO the American ppl.


I'll grant you that. His speechwriters were great and he new how to deliver speeches extremely well. You don't think any of that was his own words, do you?
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 08:26 AM

turbodog- i couldnt agree more with the thereza comments.. her speech was boring, rambling, and just plain sporatic. if i wanted to hear some female ramble on about herself all night, i would have gone to a barbara streisand concert.. big mistake putting her on the podium..

now, as far as the moore/oreilly interview.. i think you are completely wrong.. oreailkly was the one scrambling for answers, and changing the subject. everytime moore tried to get him to stand on one single issue, all oreilly did was say "maybe", or "that depends".. the weasel would never commit to a single answer.. at least moore has the gumption and balls to stand up, and pick a side on an issue.. now if his view is differnet than yours, then thats a different story.. but, at least he takes the initiative to speak his voice, and not waller in nothingness like oreilly and his cronies.

you and i have complete polar opposite views when it came to that interview.

oh, and obama.. two thumbs up.. great speaker.. and, just like you, i was waiting for deans cork to explode.. i think we agree pretty much, except for the moore/oreilly interview..

bigjohn
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 01:04 PM

It's interesting to hear that two people and watch and listen to the same thing and come away with completely different views on it. Ain't politics great!

Let me give a quick run down of my thoughts...

1) Michael Moore - Over the top? Of course. Does he go too far sometimes? Yep. But much like G. Dubya himself, he's got a point of view, and whether you love it or hate it he's sticking to it.

2) Barak Obama - Can you say "First black President"?

3) Hillary Clinton - To say that she hopes Kerry loses is obsurd. Of course she wants to run. But her time will come. 2008 isn't it.

4) Bill Clinton - Hot damn that boy can speak. Republicans and Dems alike agree his speach was amazing. It's got to kill him to know that if he could run again he's win in a landslide.

5) "I'm a uniter not a divider"...those words are clearly going to be G. Dubya's "Read my lips..." I think the Dems are on the right track to talk of uniting the nation again. The country is so split right now it makes both sides feel uneasy. I truly believe we're a stronger nation when we're united as one. I'll go a step further and say we're a stronger nation when we're united with the world. I think the current administrations policy of "it's our way or the highway" is terribly dangerous. Just because we can bully the world doesn't mean we should.

6) Howard Dean - Howard's scream heard around the world was so completely blown out of proportion. I'm so sick of hearing about it. He had just finished third in a primary that going into he was considered an easy winner. His supporters needed their spirits lifted. He was simply trying to rally his troups.

7)WMD - I hate stating the obvious, but clearly no WMD have been found in Iraq. But that's not really the issue that bothers me the most. The fact that we're agressively, VERY agressively, trying to stop all nations of the world from developing their own WMD, while at the same time developing NEW nuclear weapons ourselves is EXTEMELY disturbing. What happened to the axiom "lead by example?" Our country likely has more WMD then the rest of the world combined. Can you blame the world for calling us hypocrites?

8) Dick Cheney - If dumping him as VP wouldn't look like a complete act of desperation, it would be the right thing to do. He's about as popular in as Jesse Jackson at a KKK rally. From his oil men deciding the future of our country's energy policy, to his ties with the incredibly immoral Haliburton, to dropping the F bomb on the Senate floor...what else could he do to help sink G. Dubya's ship?

9)Smaller Government? - I thought Republicans wanted smaller government? I thought they were the "hands off" party? Since George took office the federal government has been sticking it's nose into our personal lives more than ever before. Checking library records? Withholding money from medical clinics if they offer obortions? (Regardless of all the other medical assistance they also offer?) Rounding up people, holding them without legal representation - and with no charges against them? He's even gone so far as to try and write descrimination into our Constitution! (Bravo to the six republicans who dared cross the party line and vote against the ammendment.) This is smaller government? This is compassionate conservatism? Give me a break. It boils down to George's simplistic view of the world again. He believes he is right, and if he's right, and you disagree with him, that must mean you're wrong. If you're wrong, then what does it matter what you think? He loves to force his view of the world on others. He's pro-life, so if you're not, you get no funds. He believes homosexuality is a sin, so let's write that into the constitution. You disagree with the war in Iraq? Well you must simply be un-American.

10) John Kerry - John Kerry and G. Dubya look at the world very, very differently. From what I've witnessed in the past four years, and from what I've seen/heard/read about Kerry, it boils down to a fundamental difference in how they think. To George, the world is very simple. It's black or it's white. It's right or wrong, good or evil. He looks at an issue, decides what his stance is, and then digs in his heels, and won't budge. Why should he? His view is clearly the only one that is right. That's the beauty of seeing the world in black and white. There's no room for discussion. That's both George's greatest strength but I believe also his biggest weakness. He takes a stand and "leads", but at the same time his blind faith in what he believes leaves him a very stubborn man going through the world with blinders on. John Kerry on the other hand sees very little black and white. He sees shades of gray. He sees issues from every angle. This gives him a much better understanding of the issues at hand, but also gives him the appearance of never taking a firm stand on things. Again this "seeing gray" is both Kerry's strength and also his weakness.

The bottom line is which view of the world do you feel more comfortable voting for? I personally see the world in shades of gray myself. While I may have a personal opinion on an issue, I understand it's my opinion, and that there are other ways of seeing things. I too will very often give indirect answers. Things are simply too complicated for yes or no, right and wrong, good and evil. But does that mean I cannot make a stand? Does that mean I cannot make important decisions. No of course not. It simply means when I do make a decision, it's one that has been pondered, picked apart, looked at inside and out, and understood. I rarely make a decision without serious thought and understanding. I don't want my President doing it either.

FYI...I'm NOT a registered Democrat. I'm an independent, because I don't blindly subscribe to any one party. I voted for Reagan, I voted for Perot, I voted for Clinton, I voted for Gore, and this year I'll vote for Kerry. Nothing drives me more crazy than people who vote strictly by party. Many people don't even look into the candidates or the issues. They simply vote straight down the line one party of the other. Grrrrrr...makes my blood boil. Get off your lazy asses and educate yourselves on the issues and the candidates and make your own decision. If you're a Dem and REALLY don't like Kerry, look at the other candidates. If you're a Republican and really dislike Bush...take a look at Nader or Michael Badnarik. It's not throwing away your vote. The only wasted vote is one that's cast for someone you don't agree with.


Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 01:49 PM

all right craig..

IT IS ALIVE!!!!

good post. covering many angles. i like it!

bigjohn
Posted by: Ajax

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 01:59 PM

Nice to have you back, Craig. Great post! Really enjoyed it.
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 04:56 PM

In reply to:

Putting aside her politics....do you think the country is ready for a female president by 2008?




Sure...As long as it's NOT Hillary Clinton

Mark
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 05:30 PM

First of all, welcome back Spiff. Now, what's up with trying to outdo me in post length? That's crap.

Here we go:

Michael Moore - I still have to disagree w/ you BigJohn on that dialog. Moore was completely sidestepping O'Reily's question about what makes something a lie versus a misinformed decision. Yes, O'Reily wouldn't get sucked into Moore's question about letting his kid die for Fallujah because it's a bogus question. The question should have been "If your kid decided to join the armed forced and pledged his willingness to die, if need be, to implement the orders of our Commander and Chief, would you let your child die for Fallujah?". Moore was trying to trap O'Reily into saying he'd sacrifice his kid for Iraq and it's a loaded question, which is why he would only answer for himself. If you haven't figured it out, Moore excels in manipulating situations, context, and the simplicity of his viewers to make his point. Don't get me wrong, I applaud anyone willing to take a stand for what he or she believes. The problem with Moore is the base fact that he distorts events and deceives his viewers by painting pictures that are not supported by reality. I don't doubt his sincerity...I doubt his ethics. A man beating someone up on the street isn't always what it appears to be.....what Moore purposely does is, in order to paint the man as a bully, omits the fact that the man just caught the man fondling his child (yes, hypothetical). The man may have been beating up the other man (FACT), but the implication that he is a bully is not supported by reality....the net effect of the omission of context.

Hillary - You give her too much credit. I don't know all the details, but this internal battle in the Democratic party, Kerry camp and Clinton camp, over control of funds is evidence enough for me of the Clinton power aspirations. If Kerry wins, she's on the sideline for at least 8 years. If he loses, then the door is open for her to be the savior in 4 years....that was before Obama.

Howard Dean - Yep, he took a beating over that. He was doomed from the start....not enough of a politician to satisfy the pallet of the party.

Haliburton - Talk about a nasty word in today's climate. I don't know enough about what they did or did not do that was so bad, but it amazes me how pissed people get about them. My understanding is that they have been contracting to do nation rebuilding since back in the World Wars. I guess it must be similar to the sentiment out there that we went to war solely to make all the cronies rich, which I think is bunk. Because Cheney was associated w/ them, this whole thing must have been to make Cheney rich....a little too much conspiracy theory to me. Regardless, I would love for someone to educate me on what Haliburton did that made them this devil in the eyes of the Democrats.....Caveat: Please provide valid facts that can be confirmed. My Dad hit me recently with the passionate plea of wrongdoing w/out actually providing me with any more substance than "it had to be ....". I am very interested in the reality here and not speculation.

Smaller Government - Yes, Bush has definitely missed the boat on the idea of small government. Because he is so entrenched in the Republican Party structure and all of the outside influences, I don't expect to see any changes in this realm. As I've said before, the benefit to Bush on this front is the mere fact that he's going to spend us into oblivion at a much slower rate that Kerry. If we're lucky, someone will come along in 4 years that has enough idealism to avoid becoming a hoar to the special interests (both sides).

Bush vs Kerry - I will agree with your statements concerning Bush's Black/White approach. There are times when that is good and there are times where that is bad. The way we went into war was one of the latter. If he was intent on doing so, there was arguably better ways to go about it while still achieving the same ends. As far as Kerry goes, I agree somewhat on his seeing gray. My issue is intent. You ascribe this trait to his seeing all sides of an issue. This may be true to some degree...only those close to him know for sure. I, on the other hand, see his approach to be more self-serving. I don't see him analyzing things from all sides for the sake of understanding. I see a man that analyses things from both sides in order to understand only how each position serves his purpose and political aspirations. He is the quintessential politician, which is not a good thing.

The Vietnam movie camera - This story is just coming out, but it appears that Kerry had a camera in Vietnam that he used to record himself reenacting battle scenes and making commentary. Obviously, there will be more details to follow, but this just truly confirms what I said above. kerry has been shaping his life from the start to get to this point. Some may not have a problem with doing that, but it gives me the damn creeps. It just makes me wonder "What kind of person....".

Spiff - I agree fully with your statement about our voting public. This is going to sound very jaded, but I truly believe that we have a large portion of the voting body that are a bunch of sheep voting purely on party lines....based solely upon the sound-bites that they pick up from the commercials between reality programs. When I really start thinking about it, I actually fear for the nation. Our sense of civic understanding and responsibility is going by the wayside...replaced by a self-fulfilling, self-imposed state of ignorance and self-centeredness. Can we blame our politicians for speaking in generalities and focusing on hot-button issues that generally don't affect our day to day lives? Given their audience's unwillingness to educate itself, they have no reason to actually establish a thorough and concise policy platform.

OK...I'm outta here. Again, I love this dialog!!!...just proves that we have a great group of people gathered here….even the Liberals

Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 09:49 PM

"I actually fear for the nation. Our sense of civic understanding and responsibility is going by the wayside...replaced by a self-fulfilling, self-imposed state of ignorance and self-centeredness. Can we blame our politicians for speaking in generalities and focusing on hot-button issues that generally don't affect our day to day lives? Given their audience's unwillingness to educate itself, they have no reason to actually establish a thorough and concise policy platform."

I found this part very interesting. It's the first time I've seen it from the other angle that the public's ignorance make the politicians the way they are. Kind of a chicken and egg scenario. I think most of us take for granted the freedoms that we have, and don't take the time to get educated on the issues and what is really going on. I'll admit, I am sometimes guilty of this myself. For example, I don't even know what Haliburton is, or who this Barak(sp) guy is that has been mentioned a few times, other then that I have determined from the thread that he is African American and a dem. So, yes, I'm a bit behind with some of this stuff, but I do find this thread very interesting and am using it to make an attempt to start helping to educate myself.



Posted by: mwc

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 09:54 PM

Great post Craig! I love your refreshing and THOUGHTFULL and civil take on the current political climate. It's as though you took the words right out of my mouth. I'd vote for you if you ran for office.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 07/28/04 11:31 PM

"I'll admit, I am sometimes guilty of this myself."

I think that we all are to some degree. I have only recently begun to become aware of these issues. The topic is so complex and/or convoluted that's it's a lot easier to just accept that everything is truly f...ed up and focus on our own lives. It's truly an effort to peel back the onion...one which many are unwilling to commit to. Hell, I sometimes wish that I hadn't made the leap, mostly because I now painfully understand how screwed up the system is and how little we can do to fix it.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 12:49 PM

mwc - thanks.

The internet is finally making a huge impact on politics. It's making it easier for lots of little guys to speak with one loud voice. Whether or not you agree with their world view, you've got to be impressed with what MoveOn.org has been able to accomplish in the past few years. I just hope that when/if Kerry takes office they don't slack off. Kerry may lean more towards MoveOn.org members views, but that doesn't mean he should get a free ride. Every president...heck every politician needs a watchdog, whether their Rep, Dem or something else.

That's one thing I like about Michael Moore. He may hate G. Dubya with a passion, but he understands that ALL politicians are corrupt. If you read his book "Stupid White Men", you'll note that he ripped Clinton quite a bit as well. He may be doing everything in his power to unseat Bush, but I guarantee he won't give Kerry a free ride.






Posted by: les9596

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 05:02 PM

I'd like to make a comment about Michael Moore, since he is so much in the news these days and seemingly close to the heart of so many people. I don't know whether he's right or wrong, but I do think he's not much of a man.

I used to like MM. I thought his first movie, Roger and Me, was a clever and mostly gentle movie about the GM plant closing in Flint, Michigan. It's point was to illustrate the tragedy of what happened, and not just to slow-roast GM execs. Mostly, he let the people he interviewed and the scenes he filmed speak for themselves. The drama came from the natural conflict between the goals of the executives and the values of the workers. It was a documentary, and it was art. At least, I thought so then.

But by the time he made Bowling for Columbine, MM had become one very angry young man (even though he's not so young and should know better by now) who was so sure of himself and his cause that he felt justified in humiliating an Alzheimer's patient (a certain actor named Charlton Heston) simply because he's the titular head of the NRA. Let me say that again because it's so important. He humiliated Chuck Heston not because of anything he did, but because of what he was.

What made that episode particularly ugly to me is that I later saw an interview where he said that, after they had filmed the Heston interview, he and his crew talked about how using the footage would appear vindictive and cruel, but decided to use it anyway because; "the point we were trying to make was too important." (a paraphrase, not his exact words)

What hubris! What childish disrespect for others! If only, instead of thinking of Charlton Heston's dignity, he had considered his own!

But I suspect he only considered his own rising star. Each of his subsiquent works have become more strident, more uncompromising, more righteous. There's always been a strong streak of puritan, holier-than-thou righteousness in Americans, and populist demagogues like MM have always been willing to play on it. Traditionally, demagogues prey on conservative fears, and MM is no different. What is different this time is that MM reflects the conservative fears of the political perspective usually called liberal. But of course being "liberal" doesn't make us any more resistant to populism. Only our life experience and a strong sense of personal identity can do that. It really is all about character.

So here's my warning to MM and everyone else carried into dark territory by the righteousness of their cause:

Righteous anger only exists in the movies. Real anger is never, ever righteous. Anger can give you short-term strength, but in the long run is always exhausting, debilitating, and corrupting. Anger blinds you to the good in others and to your own errors. Anger is poison, self-administered. We all get angry, but most of us see it as a character flaw. Only a few of us are foolish and destructive enough to strive for it and make it our signature.

So I totally reject all of MM's anger. To me Fahrenheit 9/11 is a documentary the same way Reefer Madness is a documentary. Most of us will live long enough to see it discredited. Some of us will live long enough to see it become self-parody. And MM himself no doubt will serve as another reminder to us of that old Hollywood maxim:

Be nice to the people you meet on your way up. You'll meet them again on your way down.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 06:15 PM

Way too much stuff has been said for me to respond to it all, but...

Many people feel like what is wrong with American politics IS the weakening of party allegiance among the electorate.

Due to our electoral system we will always have a 2 part system. Thus, for practical reasons, neither party will have a coherent ideological position that determines the party's stance on every issue (unlike the Communist Party or the Libertarians). Our system also precludes the success of single issue parties like we see so often in Europe (Greens, National Front, a bunch of others whose names escape me).

As a result of our 2 party system, voters should select the party whose platform most closely matches their own beliefs, or choose the party which they feel will best serve their personal interest, and then vote strictly along party lines regardless of who the candidate is. Because there are so many swing voters in the middle now - being influenced by such irrelevant factors as candidates' looks, speechifying skills , single issues, etc... - both parties are becoming increasingly centrist, pandering to the shallow and fickle middle.

In all honesty, it is my personal opinion that Kerry was finally chosen as the candidate to oppose Bush because he "looks" most like a President should and will appeal to those in the middle whose vote can be swayed by such things. He certainly wasn't chosen based on his sterling record or his great orating skills, eh? The media annointed him the presumpive nominee and now all he has to do is trot out and look good for the cameras.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 06:38 PM

In reply to:

trot out and look good for the cameras



well, theres a little more to it than that, but i understand the point you are trying to make.

i have been saying from the get-go, that the only way george w will win this election, is if the democrats keep screwing things up!! well, i never thought kerry was the best choice, actually, i really didnt care for any of them.. but, that is the man that the party has chosen, so i have to deal with it.

but, i will say this(and probably piss a lot of y'all off).. if the democratic party would have chosen a better candidate to run against george w, then this election wouldnt even be close. it would be a dang near sure win for the demos. i truly believe there are a lot more people in this country that want to see bush gone, than there are that want to see him stay.. the only problem is, the demos have given us a weak candidate, and so it then becomes a choice of the 'lesser of two evils'.. and those voters riding the fence, half will fall demo, half will fall repub. hence, the much closer election..

there is still lots of time before nov 2nd.. i am content to let things roll on and see where it goes..

BTW- i would like to say that, as a texan, i aint gettin to see none of the TV ads for either party.. it is pretty much agreed that george w will sweep texas, so neither party is even bothering wasting money on commercials down here.. just thought i would throw that in there.. that is a WHOLE element of their campaigns that i will never see..

bigjohn
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 06:55 PM

Ditto out here in Ca, John.

The baby cut his lip so I had to shorten my last post.

There is lots of talk about Bush being a divider, but that does not appear to be the case to me (except with the gay marriage shennanigans). At a couple of points in time almost the entire country was united behind Bush (what was his highest approval rating 80+ pts?). Now he's a different guy?

How can you explain that kind of turn around in such a short time? Because Iraq may not have had WMDs? Or is it because of the relentless, divisive attacks by partisan Democrats and their lackeys in the media? Because of the daily negative coverage of the war in Iraq? It appears to me that Bush's opponents have gone to great lengths to divide the American public from him.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 08:05 PM

In reply to:

There is lots of talk about Bush being a divider, but that does not appear to be the case to me (except with the gay marriage shennanigans). At a couple of points in time almost the entire country was united behind Bush (what was his highest approval rating 80+ pts?). Now he's a different guy?




You're pulling my leg, right?

Post 9/11 was rally around the flag time. There could have been a chimp in office, and his approval ratings would have sky rocketed after the attack. In fact prior to 9/11 is rating was at 55%. (source)

Gay marriage may be the biggest dividing issue, or at least the most talked about, but his policies regarding government funding of faith based organiztions, pulling of funds from clinics that offer abortions, premptive wars without proper cause, pulling out of nuclear test ban treaties...the list goes on and on.


Posted by: sidvicious02

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 10:57 PM

I was curious to know what more Americans thought of Gen. Clark? During the early stages of campaigning I read a couple of interviews with him and I thought him to be extremely well-spoken and one of the more conservative democratic candidates. He seemed to be a natural to take not only the Dem vote but the center undecideds too, yet he wasn't even close to winning the nomination....did I miss something about him?
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 11:05 PM

"...his policies regarding government funding of faith based organiztions, pulling of funds from clinics that offer abortions, premptive wars without proper cause, pulling out of nuclear test ban treaties...the list goes on and on."

Spiff, no doubt your personal feelings towards Bush stem from a deep source. I might not be a Bush supporter in your position either, as he certainly seems willing to bash homosexuals to appease his conservative base. FWIW, and I'm sure you're aware, Kerry is opposed to gay marriage as well. The Democrats were unwilling to make gay marriage a wedge issue apparently.

I've re-evaluated my abortion stance after seeing my son on an ultrasound at 5 mos. At 5 mos. it is too late for an abortion, IMO. Little guy was moving all over the place on his own - sucking his thumb and grabbing his feet. He was well beyond the "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" phase - most definitely a human at that point.

With modern medicine (RU486 and birth control pills as a contraceptive and abortive device) there is no moral way to support abortion in that second trimester. Granted, some conservatives (and Catholics) have resisted RU486, but in my view, they shouldn't. Bush is correct to attempt to bring the abortion issue back into the public conscience, IMO.

Regarding foreign policy... Bush earned the approval ratings post 9-11 and before the Iraq invasion. A chimp would have done not as well as Bush, but better than Gore, IMO. Gore would have asked the French for permission before defending America, but I think the chimp would have been happy to simply fart in their general direction.

Congress approved the use of force against Iraq and to this day have not voted to force the return of our troops. The campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have both been hugely successful despite all the leftist propaganda to the contrary.

Fact remains that Kerry is a non-deserving stiff of a candidate, a prototypical populist whore politician.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 11:08 PM

All that talk about anger just made me think of one thing.

Who's familiar with Rage Against the Machine, specifically the song Freedom (last track on the 1st album). There are parts where it gets quiet for a second and if you have it turned up you can hear the singer whisper, "Anger is a gift."
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 11:56 PM

Shifting gears once again, I just wanted to be clear on one thing.

As I've stated I fall to the conservative side of most issues, I truly try not just go with whatever the *right* thinks on everything however. I'm not going to get into listing what all that would be... where I'm going is my views of the *left* and *liberalism*.

I am definitely *liberal* on some issues, its just that most polititans on the far left (i.e. Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, etc) scare me because they are actually Socialists in disguise. I FIRMLY believe in personal responsibility and that is most certainly not a trait of Socialism. I much prefer Capitalism because I don't want a hand out and I certainly don't want to be empowering the government to do it in my name. There is a time, place and ppl that do need assistance but we need a better system in place to address those issues than blindly starting up new gov program after program.

I am extremely passionate on this point, and that is why I truly believe electing someone like John Kerry would be disastrous.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/29/04 11:59 PM

Sorry about all the abortion talk - just been on my mind for the past year and a half.

My point was, and I failed to make it, that we have divisive issues in our society. In this case, the divisive issues already existed. That Bush does not agree with the prevailing liberal POV, and actively seeks to change that status quo, is really the issue, spiff.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 04:30 AM

I'm curious to know what issues you beleive John Kerry is "far left" on.

I'm also curious to know if you or your family has ever needed any government assistance. It's been my experience that people who preach "personal responsibility" and don't believe in "government handouts", are usually people who've never needed assistance of any kind. I guess it's understandable. If you've never needed public assistance, why should you have to pay for it, no? Do you consider affordable health care a left wing, government handout? If so, I'm guessing that's because you have and can afford healthcare of your own. Why should you help support healthcare for others? Contributing to the common good and uplift of others isn't socialism.

I too do not want a hand out. But not everyone comes from a family of means. I had to take government loans and grants to go to college. I had to apply for low income housing to afford my rent. But I got my education, I had a roof over my head, and I busted my ass working all day and going to school at night. Without those grants and loans, and without that affordable housing, I'd not have been able to get where I am today. I'm making more money, paying my taxes and contributing to society. Who should I thank for my "hand out"?
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 04:38 AM

Just a side note...I find it astounding that this political thread has gone on for nine pages and has remained civilized. We can't talk about tube amps or speaker wires this civilly for more than three posts! Let's keep up the great conversation!


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 07:58 AM

9 pages? try 22! Maybe it's time I boosted my posts per page count...
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 09:19 AM

i got 11 pages, but i think i am at 20posts per page??

so, any critiques on the kerry speech last night?? i watched, but didnt hear everything that he said.. i was over at a buddies house(he's a republican), and he had just blown out his knee earlier in the day while wakeboarding.. ACL, MCL, tendons, patella, etc.. it was all tore up.. his dang knee was the size of a cantelope.. anyway, a bunch of us were over there so i wasnt able to hear everything kerry said.

i aint gonna go real deep, but the points i heard were good.. he hit all the hot topics, and spoke with a fair amount of verocity.. 45 minutes was right at the length where people would start to lose interest. i still think he needs to get more 'specific' on exactly how he plans to change the things he says he will change. to say it is one thing, to actually have a gameplan is something else.

all in all, good, but not great.. as long as he keeps his wife away from the microphones for the rest of this campaign, he should be all right. now the fun will be to see how the repubs chop up and pick apart his speech.. plus, we still have the great george w to speak. it makes me giggle just thinkin about it. watching him talk, is like sitting at a train crossing, waiting for a wreck. its gonna happen, eventually.. and when he gets that glassed over, deer in the headlights look, i will be rolling on the floor with laughter. he is better than any comedy routine i have ever seen... sorry, i am rambling now.

bigjohn
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Kerry Speach - 07/30/04 11:58 AM

Pros -

"...reporting for duty." Smart in two ways. 1) Props him up as a soldier, and strong military leader. 2) Positions himself as a servant of the people, rather than the other way around.

"...don't wear my religion on my sleeve..." All at once a swipe at Bush's extreme religious views, and even his foreign policy. Bush has a frightening sense that because of his "close personal relationship" with god, that whatever he personally believes is also what god believes. It also positions Kerry as a religious man with moderate, fair, values himself.

"old glory" - The republicans have tried very hard to prop themselves up as the only party of patriotism. That if you don't support George and everything he believes in, then you must be un-American, and un-Patriotic. I think Kerry squashed that idea very well last night.

I was afraid Kerry would come across as dry, dull, and boring and was very pleased that he seemed to come out of his shell a bit, and actually act like he had a pulse. He managed to do it in a way that still seemed like himself though. If he'd poured too much into it, it would have come off as phony.

Cons - He promised 40,000 more troops. Where the heck are they coming from?

He promised to roll back the recent tax breaks for people making over $200,000/year...bravo to that I say, but what about other tax breaks for the super rich? What about the tax breaks on dividend payments? Since the dividend tax break CEO's across the country have started dramatically increasing their dividend payouts and making tons and tons of tax free money. The greed of the super rich makes me sick to my stomach. I don't have any problem with people making a lot of money. I don't doubt they may have indeed earned it, but I feel if you are super wealthy you must pay your fair share, and I believe your fair share is indeed MORE than what the middle and lower class pays. A friend of mine made over $100,000 last year for the first time. He paid LESS taxes because of it. He himself thought that was sick. Because he made MORE, his tax rate went down.

There are so many tax loopholes and ways to work the system that many of the super rich pay next to nothing in taxes. How do they do it? They can afford high priced accountants to come up with schemes...legal schemes to get out of paying taxes. I know, a good friend of mine does it for a living. He's given me advice and some of the ideas he comes up with are quite clever, but by no means fair. The fact is, the more money you have the easier it is to pay fewer taxes.

Other than those two points, I was very impressed with the speach. I look forward to seeing the RNC next month. Though if Bush's speach this morning in Missouri is any indication of what's to come, I'm not sure I can sit through it. Did anyone watch that speach this morning? As soon as he got started he tried scaring the nation into thinking that Kerry is going to raise everyone's taxes.

I guess that brings me to another question. So many people cry that Kerry is going to spend, spend, spend, and raise taxes again and again. That's been the Republican mantra since I can remember. If I'm not mistaken under eight years of Clinton, debt was being paid off, and the had an enormous budget surplus. Does that sound like a "tax and spend liberal"? That is certainly how he was painted while he ran. Even if he was a tax and spender, wouldn't that at least be better than what we have now? Now we have a spender and spender. We're just putting everything on a credit card. Over the next several years the biggest expense to our country will be interest on debt. Bigger than all the money we spend on defense, bigger than all the money we spend on healthcare, bigger than all the money we spend on education.

Certainly doesn't sound like the Republican way of running the country to me. Fiscal responsibility is extremely important. George simply doesn't get that.


Posted by: mhorgel

Re: Kerry Speach - 07/30/04 12:50 PM

I think before anybody votes for another candidate from either party, they should read John Stossel's book "Give Me A break". Stossel is a lone voice of reason in the insane mob which is the media. He (and I) believe in individual responsibility, government poking its nose out of our lives through deregulation and decreased taxes and spending, and tort reform to stop the trial lawyers from running our lives.

After reading Stossel's book, tell me that lawsuits against vaccine makers, the EPA superfund, and the Americans With Disabilities Act are good ideas. This country needs a major overhaul, but unfortunately both political parties are so close together in ideology, that any real change is going to be next to impossible.

Mark

Libertarian at heart.
Posted by: pablo

Re: Kerry Speach - 07/30/04 02:10 PM

I agree Mark that with both parties having strayed so far from their fundamental beliefs that voters largely base their decisions upon individual issues, style, and perceptions. Though I'm generally a Republican my pivotal issue will be stem cell research as my family has been impacted by Alzheimers and the use of stem cells can dramatically improve the prognosis for many of my family members threatened by this disease. I give credit to Kerry for understanding the importance of this issue. I also think there are some traditional Democrats that are turned off by the manipulation of Michael Moore and Kerry's association with Al Sharpton, who could go for the Bushwacker as a result of these associations.

Personally I cannot wait for the political theatre that will develop over the next 3 months. It should be better than the old Saturday Night Live (w/Belushi).
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 02:27 PM

Spiffnme, you really should go back and read this entire thread.

"I'm curious to know what issues you beleive John Kerry is "far left" on."

I didn't listen to his speech, but from the excerpts in the paper it sounds like he promised a federal health care program, federally funded class size reductions, and a federally funded preschool program, among other things. All of these new programs are possible without raising taxes on the middle class or the wealthy (he only proposes to "roll back" the tax cuts the wealthy received earlier)? How do you fund the ENORMOUS cost of those programs? You don't. None of those things will happen should Kerry get elected. It's all populist BS.

"It's been my experience that people who preach "personal responsibility" and don't believe in "government handouts", are usually people who've never needed assistance of any kind...Contributing to the common good and uplift of others isn't socialism."

It's been my experience that financially secure Liberals who live in nice areas far from the underclass for whom they feel pity are frequently out of touch with reality. As a teacher, I see the same scenario played out every year, hundreds of times over (it's like watching a depressing version of "Groundhog Day"). Kids making poor life decisions: doing drugs, having babies, failing classes, truancy, UNDERACHIEVING, etc... A few short years from now all those kids will probably join the DNC and clamor for gov't handouts, bemoan the lack of fairness in this world, scream "tax the rich", etc...

So half the kids work hard and succeed, the other half f***s around and has a good old time. Should they all receive the same grade? Should I "tax" the overachievers, take a percentage of their points and give them to the kids "who really need it" - the ones who are about to fail because they screwed around all semester? There is nothing noble in the efforts of populist politicians when they preach these big give-aways. All these gov't programs we have today enable people to make crappy decisions and get away with it, even be rewarded for it. All of us who get up and go to work each day are handed the bill.

Folks need to take care of themselves. Period.

And, FYI, my dad was a truck driver that never graduated from HS and my mom was a Mississippi farm girl who cleaned other peoples' houses. Hardly a silver spoon background.
Posted by: twodan19

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 03:10 PM

bigwill, when i taught, about 15 yrs ago, we had the kids (6th graders) brushing their teeth at their seats w/out tooth paste, starting their day with OJ, which we teachers had to serve, and provided hot lunches to those less fortunate. one of the kids asked me if i had a snowmobile. i said i could not afford one. he then said it was easy, spend all your money on the skidoo, then i could apply for aid and food stamps."that's what we did" he said. we also had title 1 programs so we could try to teach 6th grades how to read Dick & Jane. well after several years of this bull, i asked the principal why we spent so much on those who will never read above a 3rd grade level, and why didn't we spend some of that money making the achievers over achievers(sp). can't, it's govt money.
so, like you, i have no problem helping those who really need help. but, it frosts my a$$ to provide for those who are the 2nd and 3rd generation of low life moochers who know the ins and outs better that i; time for more workfare and less welfare. don't get me started!
dan
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 06:34 PM

You make it sound like the only people who need assistance are people who simply f*&ked off their whole lives. If that were true, I'd agree...screw 'em. But it's not that simple.

"We have more to do to make quality health care available and affordable." - George W. Bush 7/30/04

"And we value health care that's affordable and accessible for all Americans." - John F. Kerry 7/29/04

Why is it Kerry gets attacked for saying it, but not Bush? Kerry's a "tax and spender" for saying it, but not Bush? Did I miss something?




Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 07:46 PM

"You make it sound like the only people who need assistance are people who simply f*&ked off their whole lives. If that were true, I'd agree...screw 'em. But it's not that simple."

We all have stories like twodans to tell. Stories of witnessing the abuse of social programs first hand. I have too many to tell.

All of these freebies are well intentioned programs that actually cause more harm than good. If you really want me to, I'll explain why.

"Why is it Kerry gets attacked for saying it, but not Bush? Kerry's a "tax and spender" for saying it, but not Bush?"

I didn't get the full text of Kerry's speech, but the paper said he proposes a comprehensive federal health care system. I did see a direct quote regarding his belief that health care should be a basic right for all Americans. Bush ain't saying that.

In Bush's speech this morning he alluded to improving health care affordability and accessability by limiting malpractice suits and large punitive settlements. He proposes allowing small businesses to form consortiums(?) for the purpose of providing healthcare to their employees at the kind of discounted rates that large corporations can negotiate. Kerry's proposal is far different than what Bush is talking about.


Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 08:21 PM

In reply to:

I did see a direct quote regarding his belief that health care should be a basic right for all Americans. Bush ain't saying that.



Do you honestly feel that healthcare should only be available to those who can pay for it? If so that's just one of those things we'll have to agree to disagree on.

In reply to:

He proposes allowing small businesses to form consortiums(?) for the purpose of providing healthcare to their employees at the kind of discounted rates that large corporations can negotiate.



Sounds like a good idea.

Posted by: Wid

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 11:21 PM

I have not posted but once in this entire thread but I have read every last word of it.I must commend each and every one of you that has contributed to it.This has been by far my favorite read each and every day.To keep it as civil as you boys have is outstanding.BRAVO!
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/30/04 11:25 PM

"Do you honestly feel that healthcare should only be available to those who can pay for it? If so that's just one of those things we'll have to agree to disagree on."

We both know that no one is going without life saving medical care in the US (at least from what I see here in California). Dentistry should be what the Democrats are crying about, IMO.

Healthcare was discussed on another thread - I forget where. I just downgraded my family's coverage from a PPO to an HMO because the cost was going to be prohibitive.

What to do? Judging by what the Canadians have said here a federal health care system may not be the way to go. If such a system could work well, you would think that Canada could pull it off (relatively small and homogenus population).

I don't know I'm blitzed.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 07/31/04 12:35 AM

Saw this quote on some whacked forum:

How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

Ronald Reagan -Remarks in Arlington, Virginia, September 25, 1987



Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 07/31/04 12:37 PM

In reply to:

Do you honestly feel that healthcare should only be available to those who can pay for it? If so that's just one of those things we'll have to agree to disagree on.




Spiff,

This is one area in which we "right wingers" get painted with the wrong brush. We do not want people to die, or to get sick and stay sick. Our issue is how we get from point A to point B. Kerry just wants to reach into our pockets, open our wallets, and hand over the cash to the government. Once the money is there, we have lost control of it. We have to beg politicians to actually spend it on healthcare instead of other stuff. They will come up will all sorts of qualifications that must be met for us to get access to the healthcare (IF they spent the money). So while we are lying there sick, we need to hire a lawyer to fight the system for us and then we finally get the bare minimun level of service when we finally "win". The laywers on both side are the only winners, walking away with 1/3 of the money that was supposed to be used to vaccinate 3000 children.

We believe that if you are CAPABLE of paying for healthcare, then you should have to pay for it. We believe that we need to get the politicians and lawyers OUT of there as much as practically possible in order to stop draining HUGE amounts of money away from the actual delivery of health care. We believe that there are enough rich liberals out there to get together and donate their money to a fund that could assist those who can't afford to pay for their own health care. (Only kidding - us conservatives would donate as well). Consider this. Michael Moore could take the profits of Falsenheight 911, subtract what it cost him to make the movie, and maybe put a hundred grand or 2 in his bank account, and then personally pay for the healthcare of about 100,000 people for a year. Call Whoopie, Ben Afflict, Linda Rhonstat, and the rest of the gang. Do a show, buy people healthcare. Exactly how much money do you guys waste blasting Bush over healthcare, anyway? Drive the freaking cash down to the hospital and sit in the ER. Pay people's bills right there on the spot. How come nobody calls these Hollywood types out, anyway? Shoot, they could just pay for the whole darn healthcare system all by themselves without us, and STILL afford their cocaine and caviar. Why do we let them get away with bashing Bush without asking them to put their money where their mouths are? Why the hell does Michael Moore need to come after my little paycheck for the money? What am I supposed to do when I have to pay for my own father's medical bills? Go back to the government and beg for it just like everyone else, I guess. The point is, we should not screw up the entire healthcare system because a small percentage of the population can not afford it. We should optimize the healthcare system to make it the absolute most modern, best system it can be. It should be priced so that Americans who fall into the $20,000 - $60,000 a year salary range can afford it for their families. Some people will not be able to afford that, and it's up to the rest of us to help them because we want to, and because we can. To others, this cost will be extremely low, and I say oh well, good for them, the lucky rich bastards.

Faith based organizations are the way to go, simply because it is what they do. They help people. Our church has paid for several operations for people this year. Two of them weren't even members of our, or any church - they WERE athiests. I see them praying all the time now that they are healthy again. You really should see all of us right wingers whipping out the wallets when the Father announces "we will be passing the collection plate a second time today to help Mr. Johnson pay for his cancer surgery". It would bring a tear to your eye. Yet we get blasted because we really don't want to collect the money and send it to John Kerry so that he and his buddies can sit down and figure out if Mr. Johnson is a member of one of their "targeted" (see side rant in italics below) groups entitled to get that money. If he is, you can be sure that he would receive far les actual financial support than he got from the church. We just paid for the operation outright because he needed the help. I gave $30. He got every nickel of it. I'm happy about that. When I need an operation, they'll do the same for me. If I had sent $30 to DC for his healthcare, they might have given him $2 back.

Politicians want to control our lives, and they do it by limiting what we can spend, where we can spend it, and how we spend it. They also limit it by dividing us into little bitty groups that they HOPE will always feel depressed, downtrodden, victimized, and abused. Then they can come running into the room yelling "We're with the government, and we're here to help you.". Yes, they can. They created the problem.

Whenever you hear "targeted", substitute "no one" - it's a trick. They collect the money, keep it, and then tell everyone that they aren't in the "targeted" group. No one gets the money, and no one every realizes that no one fits the "target". Clinton's "targeted tax cut" would have been no tax cuts for anyone, but he would have just said, "they are there, you just don't qualify". We all think someone else is getting it, but no one is...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/01/04 12:55 AM

Is it just me or are the right-wingers here funnier than the liberals?


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/01/04 01:31 AM

I dunno, I guess I'm not in the targeted audience for republican humor.
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 12:10 AM

Great post, Michael A.

I have seen government funded healthcare first hand as a physician. The government funded health care system for the poor around here is called Passport. Passport pays me a relatively few dollars per month for each subscriber in my panel, no matter how many times I actually see them. I hate seeing these patients (who pay nothing out of their pockets) because they are the most demanding, time consuming patients in my practice, almost none of them come in for actual medical problems, and they think nothing of calling after hours for non-emergency complaints (such as needing their medication refilled).

The fact is that when you give somebody something because they're "entitled", they haven't earned it, and they don't treat it as their own. Look at just about any Government housing project in the country. They've become such hellholes that they're having to demolish them left and right.

One state (I forget which one and I lent out my source [John Stossel's "Give Me A Break"]) enacted a program where able bodied welfare recipients would have to work picking up trash by the side of the road in order to receive their check. This idea was opposed by liberal critics as being "slavery". The recipients of these welfare checks thought picking up trash was beneath them. There used to be a time when most people would rather work for a day's pay than to take "charity". But it's not "charity" any more, it's an "entitlement".

Insurance companies are also to blame, as are physicians who slowly by baby steps turned over control of the health care system in this country to insurance companies. Americans have been trained that they should have to spend no money out of their pockets for health care. I have people ask me for free sample medication because they don't want to pay their co-pay. People complain about paying a second $15 copay for a follow up visit, but do not flinch at spending $30 to get their oil changed.

In my opinion, most people should pay MORE for their day to day health care needs such as office visits and medications. That puts the economic incentive on the patient and the doctor to try to save money. I could actually prescribe the best medication for each patients condition and monetary circumsatance, not the one their insurance company prefers because Pharmaceutical company X pays them a kickback.

But I digress. Entitlements were enacted with the best of intentions, but they actually harm the country by fostering the victim mentality. Draconian legislation such as the Americans With Disabilities Act were also passed with the best of intentions, but actually harm the disabled because companies won't hire them for fear of being sued under the act. Trial lawyers say they are helping the little guy, but who really benefitted from the Tobacco lawsuits? Asbestos litigation? Suits against vaccine makers. Why the lawyers, of course. There are now only 3 companies in America that make vaccines, down from more than 10. Are we safer with only 3 companies making and researching vaccines?

By the way, I don't remember seeing "access to health care" enumerated in the Constitution as a basic right. So, no I don't think everybody has an absolute right to health care, but I think I have a right not to have to send checks to somebody who thinks picking up trash is beneath them. I think I have a right not to pay the salaries of millions of Government employees whose only job it is is to enforce thousands of regulations which actually stymie economic growth. And I think I have a right to live in a country where companies that make vaccines don't shut down because of fear of litigation.

Mark
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 12:28 AM

I don't think I have the brainpower to make much sense tonite but...

Handouts:

I didn't say there should be no gov programs for helping ppl in need... I just said in general entitlements are a BAD thing, we need less programs so we can make them more efficient and actually work in some fashion!

Kerry on the left/Healthcare:

I think I also said earlier that I did not agree with Bush on his perscription plan. That was definitely pandering to the left side of things. And since Kerry wants something even bigger that would be one of his *way left* ideals.

Kerry on Defense:

As far as Kerry trying to use his military service to get points on national defense, what a joke! What he did after his tour in 'nam and his voting record on military spending PROVES this man has no right or even a CLUE on national defense.

Bush being religious:

As far as the Bush religion thing goes... ya he probably shouldn't speak out on his relogion as much as he does (Regean was as religious or even more so than Bush but ya wouldn't nessasarily know that because he didn't go preaching it) but I don't think he forces it on any person. Just because the man disagree's with abortion and gay marriage doesn't mean he's forcing you to believe the same and go to church like he does. Those are the things he believes. I don't subscribe to any religion but I believe abortion is wrong in every way....

Stem Cell/Abortion:

As far as stem cell research goes, one could say in nazi germany we knew those jews were going to die in concentration camps anyway so why not experiment on them, to get something benifical out of their deaths. Before you cry that its not the same thing... I believe killing jews was bad in any form, killing an unborn human is wrong in any form as well.

Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 12:01 PM

Ditto all that, Doc.

Is there any concrete evidence linking vaccines to autism? Or was that relationship dreamed up by the trial lawyers? The parents swear it's the vaccines, but how the hell could they know that?

We've been innoculating our 11 mo. old, and will continue to do so for the public good. Our pediatrician (great guy) obviously thinks it's OK.

I read about the recent polio outbreak in Africa, where Muslim leaders banned vaccination programs in the belief that vaccinations are an anti-Islam Western plot. Apparently, they blame the vaccines for sterility and AIDS epidemics.

Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 12:19 PM

There is no scientifically proven link between vaccines and autism, or breast implants and autoimmune diseases, for that matter. Dow Corning was driven into bankruptcy because some people said their product caused disease, despite the lack of a scientifically proven link.

There have been a few problems with live polio virus causing polio in susceptible individuals, and pertussis used to cause seizures in rare instances, but both these problems have been resolved because of research and improvement in existing vaccines.

Mark
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 12:28 PM

Thanks, Doc, I feel better.

What's better Viagra or Levitra? JK, LOL, etc... Don't actually need one... really.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 12:44 PM

by the looks of your avatar, i think you are doing pretty good there bigwill!!

funny story.. a few years ago when one of my buddies graduated from college, we were having a party for him. now he is a young guy, 27 yrs old, and plenty healthy.. anyway, he had a young lady that was obviously going to be his companion for the evening, so his boss gave him a viagra pill kind of as a joke. well, my buddy took the pill once the evening died down and it was time for the late night activities to begin. now, as he tells the story, he dont know if it was the pill, the alcohol he drank, or a combination of the both, but he says after a few hours, the girl literally told him to get off her, cause she had had enough, and couldnt do it no more. now, if thats not a thumbs up review, then i dont know what is??

i aint trying to hyjack the politics thread, but the last post made me think of this story.. well, i guess if we were talking about slick willy, then i wouldnt be too far off the thread topic after all!!

bigjohn
Posted by: ScottA

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 05:07 PM

I have been sitting back reading this post for some time. I decided it's time to jump into the mix. Most of this talk about the healthcare system in the US is bullsh..t.

To preface, my wife and I are both professionals. I have a bachelor's degree and she has her masters. I work as a probation officer and my wife works for a major hospital in the area.

Back in February of this year, my 37 year old wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Bam, hit like a ton of bricks. She began by getting a biopsy, followed by x-rays, bone scans and and many other tests. None cheap. Later came the first 4 rounds of chemo. 3 antinausea drugs by IV followed by 2 different chemo drugs at each treatment. Once again, not cheap. Actually more than a $1,000 per treatment. Following the 4 rounds of chemo came surgery. Total masectomy as well as samples of lymph nodes. With room, anesthesia, surgeon, etc, cost was over $20,000. After surgery comes 4 more rounds of chemo. The drug this time costs more than $5,000 per dose. Next comes reconstructive surgery. Not sure what that will cost yet. Add in costs of visits to Oncologist and Oncology surgeon as well as wigs due to hair loss and the total bill will be in excess of $100,000.

My point is this. My wife did not ask for this disease. Don't get me wrong, we are grateful for all the Dr's who are treating her, without them, I know what the outcome would be. However, the costs to us have been astronomical even with insurance. Thank goodness we do ok financially. But what about those who don't. What would their fate be.

I consider myself to be a little more liberal than conservative on most issues but not all. That being said, this country needs to do something about the healthcare system. Why should any lifesaving drug cost more than $5,000 per dose? Why should the doctor's have to get prior approval for treatments. My wife's white bloodcell count dropped so low she ended up in the emergency room. The Oncologist had to get approval to give her a drug (neurlasta) sp? to keep her count up after chemo? We as a country somehow need to make "good" medical care available to everyone, not just those who can afford it.

Sorry for the rant, but those who see a problem with healthcare for everyone, probably are not going through what my wife and I are right now. It's easy to sit back and make blanket statements about things without ever being in that situation. As I said, my wife works in the medical field and is paid very well for what she does. But if she was not, we would be in big trouble.




Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 05:16 PM

scotta- sorry for what you and your family is having to go through.

thank you for sharing your perspective. its sometimes hard to see 'the whole picture', unless you can see it through another mans eyes.

i hope that all will turn out well for you and your wife.

bigjohn
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 05:21 PM

I'm sorry to hear about all that calamity. I don't think anyone is going to dispute that health care can be expensive.

But effective cancer treatment was there for your wife. That is more than can be said for all of humanity that lived before the mid-point of the last century, or for the masses in the 3rd World.

We have it pretty damn good - even if it does cost us some cash to save our lives from illness and disease.
Posted by: ScottA

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 05:31 PM

BigWill,

I agree. I am greatful that the care is there for my wife. If not the outlook would be much more grim. My point is that it needs to be available to everyone, rich, poor, white, black. That is if you are a US citizen. I could not imagine what I would tell my 11 year old daughter, if we could not get the care needed for her mother.
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 07:27 PM

Scott,

My mother went through that exact same list nearly 20 years ago. I hope that your wife started getting treatments early. My mother's condition was pretty far along before they discovered it.

In reply to:

Why should any lifesaving drug cost more than $5,000 per dose?


It shouldn't, that was precisely the point that I was trying to make. However, just like the live Polio vaccine that the Doc spoke about, 1 patient out of 1 million MAY be harmed by the use of the vaccine. When that 1 person comes along, they and their lawyer will be awarded with a lawsuit in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Guess who really pays these gigantic lawsuits? You and I do the next time we purchase the product or service. After the lawsuit, the insurance company will raise the rate, and guess what? The next dose will cost you $5500. The pharmaceutical certainly isn't going to take it out of their pockets. If they did, their PE ratio would go down, the stock price would fall, and the company would go out of business. Then you wouldn't get any dose at any price.

The court system is a snowball rolling down a mountain. Every year, the lawsuits get bigger and bigger and the cost of products and services goes up. This is NOT unique to the field of medicine. It cuts across all industries, and we all pay more than we need to for everything.

You also mentioned that the medical folks need to get approval for procedures. I think that is 100% Barbara Streisand as well. When is someone going to sue an insurance company (and their lawyers) for practicing medicine without a license?
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 09:39 PM

Maybe this is too simple then, but can't they just warn you at the hospital that the drug they are about to give you has a 1 in a million chance of killing you, and you have to sign something not to sue if it actually does? If I need whatever that drug is bad enough to get me through whatever health issue I am having, you get to the point that you are willing to try it regardless of the odds and shouldn't get to sue if it doesn't work...they are just trying to do whatever they can to save your life.

The only time I see the lawsuits coming in is in the gross malpractice cases where they give you something completely different from what they were supposed to and it does damage....even then, some of the payouts are just ridiculous.

Perhaps we need healthcare like auto insurance...full tort and limited tort at different prices, so the sue happy people pay more, but are covered with their full tort policy.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/02/04 10:51 PM

Could the solution be: Kill all the lawyers and burn down the law schools? Just kidding, I know a lawyer who ISN'T a scumbag.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 12:57 AM

Just another reason to NOT vote for Kerry (Edwards).

Posted by: KC_Mike

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 02:21 AM

I think the high cost of health care and prescription drugs is a crucial issue.

Pharmaceutical companies are out of control. They fund vacations/perks/etc. for doctors and surgeons to entice them into prescribing their drugs. To me, it is not ethical to practice such behavior.

Secondly, many of the drugs on the market are chemical versions of something that exist naturally in organic form (plants, etc.). The drugs could be made from the organic versions for far less than the chemical version....but the big companies would rather make a chemical version for two reasons. 1. They can't patent a plant. 2. They can make a chemical version and claim they spent millions on R&D and justify the hefty price for the drug.

Look at the cost of AIDS medications or any other medication that is crucial to saving life (chemo drugs, etc.) It seems the more life threatening the disease, the more expensive the drugs. It is this way because people will do whatever it takes to stay alive and the pharmeceutical companies exploit that fact. I mean, either pay what they require or die. It just isn't right.

My Father just had a stint put in one of his arteries that was partially blocked. The operation is common place these days...go in through the thigh and feed the stint to the blockage. The surgery lasted 45 minutes and the hospital stay was overnight and part of the next day. The bill was over $30,000. The largest portion was attributed to the cardiologist (surgeon fees & 'consultation fees'). I understand cardiologists work hectic schedules, went to school for 8 or more years, etc.; but I don't think they should be paid 15k for roughly an hours work and maybe an hour of consultation. No doubt, some of the high cost is attributed to the malpractice insurance the cardiologist has to pay for....which is another facet that needs tob e dealt with.

While I won't dispute that the US has the best medical technology and talent in the world, it is not reason enough to justify the high cost of health care.

All it takes is one bad accident, and you might find yourself financially burdened the rest of your life. I guess there is always bankruptcy for extreme situations; but that also indirectly raises the cost of healthcare as well.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 03:51 AM

In reply to:

As far as the Bush religion thing goes... ya he probably shouldn't speak out on his religion as much as he does (Regean was as religious or even more so than Bush but ya wouldn't nessasarily know that because he didn't go preaching it) but I don't think he forces it on any person. Just because the man disagree's with abortion and gay marriage doesn't mean he's forcing you to believe the same and go to church like he does. Those are the things he believes. I don't subscribe to any religion but I believe abortion is wrong in every way....



How can you say that he's not trying for force his beliefs on us. Dude...he's trying to have the constitution of the United States ammended. How much more forceful in his beliefs does he need to get before you wake up and realize what he's doing. Maybe the next item he wants to add to the constitution will effect you directly. I'll bet you'll sing a different tune then.

Grrrrrrrrr..........


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 12:57 PM

KC Mike, you make some valid points, but you also make a lot of assumptions which cannot be proven. Modern medicine has far surpassed what the witch doctors can do with their weeds.

Spiffnme, Bush's attempt to alter the Constitution to ban gay marriages was purely a political move. No doubt, he opposes gay marriages (as most Americans do), but it was an attempt to get the Democrats to either take a stand in favor of gay rights (and then get slammed at the polls for doing so) or abandon a far-left segment of their party. The Democrats chose the latter option.

In my opinion, the gov't should get out of the business of issuing marriage licenses altogether. Issue civil union certificates and leave marriage and marriage ceremonies to the churches.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 01:27 PM

In reply to:

In my opinion, the gov't should get out of the business of issuing marriage licenses altogether. Issue civil union certificates and leave marriage and marriage ceremonies to the churches.



Absolutely. It'll likely never happen though. "Marriage" is a religious institution. The government has no business being involved. All of the governmental rights, and benefits that come along with "marriage" should be provided to all committed couples, regardless of sexual orientation, and should be done so as "civil unions". If these couples want to have a religious ceremony they can do so and become "married".
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 01:31 PM

In reply to:

Pharmaceutical companies are out of control. They fund vacations/perks/etc. for doctors and surgeons to entice them into prescribing their drugs. To me, it is not ethical to practice such behavior.




This is false. There are no vacations or other expensive perks any more. There used to be, but they are a thing of the past. Occasionally they will offer a meal to accompany a sales presentation, but why shouldn't they? If I am going to commit some of my precious free time to them, why shouldn't I be compensated with a meal?

We have the strongest pharmaceurical industry in the world. Like it or not, the reason for that is that there is competition in the marketplace. The quest for profit in this case benefits us all. I hate it when people get all righteous about pharmaceutical companies engaging in activities that are acceptable from any other for profit corporation. Why is it unethical for pharmaceutical companies to offer promotional perks to customers? Because they make a necessary product? Hogwash! I would say that food, clothing, and shelter are much more important factors for preservation of life, but nobody complains about the promotional behaviors of Archer-Daniels-Midland. You think your congressman doesn't get perks?

It costs hendreds of millions of dollars to bring a drug to market, and a pharmaceutical company has only 17 years from the discovery of the compound (not 17 years on the market) in whichh to recoup their investment.

The reason pharmaceuticals cost more than natural compounds is one of law, not greed. In order to be a "drug", that is to claim the compound is effective in treating a given condition, studies must be done to prove safety and efficacy. These studies cost literally hundreds of millions of dollars. Who in their right mind would do hundreds of millions of dollars of research on a compound that is not patentable?

Dietary supplements may be cheaper than pharmaceuticals, but they are not regulated by any agency. They cannot claim to treat any condition, therefore they usually are marketed as substances which can "maintain (insert orgen here) health". No studies need to be done. Side effects are unknown. Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it's safe.

As to drugs for serious conditions costing more, well what's your life worth? If anything in this life should be expensive, it's a lifesaving drug. Why do people think nothing of spending $30,000 for a car, and balk at spending $1000 for a lifesaving drug? If you are dying and need an expensive drug, who should pay for it other than you? Why is it my responsibility to pay for someone else's lifesaving drug?

The answer is to scrap the FDA and let the marketplace regulate the cost of pharmaceuticals. Any unsafe drugs would be quickly identified and litigated out of existence (loser pays, of course to avoid frivoulous suits).

Mark
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 01:35 PM

I am a totally agnostic areligious person, I am not homophobic, but I am against gay marraige. This is not a religious issue. It is about redefining a term that has been in existence for thousands of years against the wishes of the majority of Americans.

I am not opposed to the idea of a sanctioned civil union between same sex individuals, but to call it a "marraige" is disingenuous. To say that opposing gay marraige is a religious issue is equally disingenuous.

Mark
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 02:00 PM

That was my point above. "Marriage" IS a religious institution. In the eyes of our government, it should not be. Civil unions for all - leave marriages for the church.

It's semantics. People have REALLY strong feelings about the word "marriage". Many, many people feel exactly as you do. They're totally fine with offering gays and lesbians "civil unions" which would come with all the rights and privilages of "marriage", they just won't let us call it "marriage". How can you explain that thought process? It's a word people - relax.


Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 02:13 PM

Here's a freaky website I found that is very anti-mixed marriage. It is speaking of whites and non-whites, but uses pretty much the same arguements as gay-marriage opponents. Kinda creepy. I guarantee 20 years from now people who are so anti-gay marriage now will seem as whacko as this guy does now.


Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 02:19 PM

i am tore on that issue too.. i have no probs with gays and lesbians, more power to ya.. but once again, as with most issues in america now, it comes down to changing a 'standard', to adapt to a small number of americans. its just a word, marriage, but why are we freaking out so much over it?? i dont know, i wish i did. but i do think the word represents a unity of man and woman.. i mean, really, it has been that way for , oh lets see, FOREVER. and now, to accomidate a very small group of the american public, we may have to change that definition. are we who oppose it being petty, maybe. but do we have the right to defend what has been our norm forever, yes we do.

i really hate that this has to even be an issue. i believe in gay/lesbian rights. i think that a gay couple SHOULD be able to make life decisions for their mates, and be able to have joint insurance coverage, and have the same benefits and rights of a married couple.. but, are they married, no.. should we make it a 'civil union', hell yes, by all means.

this is where i have inner conflict over this subject. i truly believe homosexual couples should have the same rights as married couples.. but , i dont think they should be called married, or have a marriage, in the classic sense of the word.

does that make me a hypocrit?? i dont know.. but i know thats how i feel, and i hope no one is offended.

PS- i kinda compare it to no more praying at high school football games.. SHORT STORY- here in texas, we say(or used to) a prayer before the start of every game on the stadium loud speakers. a few years a go, an islamic family that had a son playing football in houston, was appaled that they had to say a prayer to a god that they didnt believe in, and went to the state courts. long story short, they made it a state law that it is illegal to have a public prayer at a football game, so we dont 'offend' anyone.. ??? hello, so we had to change out heritage and tradition during friday night lights, just so we dont offend a very small group of people. thats just not right to me.

bigjohn
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 02:35 PM

OK, time to steer things in a completely different direction (not that I haven't enjoyed the recent posts).

By now I'm sure you all heard about the recently heightened terror alert level and that it was based on information that pre-dated 9/11.

Ladies(?) and gentlemen, it's time to talk about The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I present you with exhibit A, Tom Ridge:



The Terror Alert system is completely counter-productive to its intended goals. Instead of encouraging U.S. citizens to prepare for possible attacks, it is slowly but surely desensitizing us to possible threats. Each time the terror alert level is raised and lowered, we go through a period of inconvenience and eye-rolling -- just yesterday, someone in my office building called security about a possile bomb because we had left a box outside our office for FedEx to pick up -- before returning to our regular lives.

The alert system is the single-most Orwellian device ever to come from the U.S. Govt.

Discuss.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 02:57 PM

BigJohn...what do you think of the idea of all couples...regardless of sexual orientation getting "civil union" licenses from the State, and being "married" only by a church? Does that protect your definition of the word "marriage". Or does your definition include the fact that Men and Women are "married" by the State? Curious.




Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 03:32 PM

i dont know craig, i never really thought of it like that. i reckon i wouldnt have any problem with it like how you are saying.. although, it still kinda goes back to what i was saying.. that would would still be a change made to accomodiate a small group.

i think for me, it becomes a bigger issue of the greater america having to change to accomidtate small interest groups. its happening everywhere, and it is dividing this country. everyone is forced, if you want to or not, to take a side and decide which side of the line you are gonna stand on.. republican or democrat, pro-choice or pro-life, church or state, paper or plastic, de-caf or regular.. ?? we are forced to make decisions that can be extremely mundane to overly complex, that defines what category you will be placed in.. bottom line is, i DONT wanna be in a category. i DONT wanna change what i do and say to appease a very small group that in the long run, will have no bearing on how the rest of my life will play out.

i aint trying to get up on a pedastel here, just stating my general discontent with the way our nation is going.. but, to get back to your original question.. i WOULD be willing to make the change to 'civil unions' and marriages being separate, if it would make it to where gay couples could receive the same benefits that my spouse and i get. OK.. ?

bigjohn
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 05:26 PM

In reply to:

i think for me, it becomes a bigger issue of the greater america having to change to accomidtate small interest groups.




You mean like the civil rights movement in the 1960's? In some states as late as 1967 blacks and whites weren't allowed to marry.


Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 05:30 PM

Here's an interesting article regarding the changes in marriage...

"To opponents of same-sex marriage, it seems so simple. Let's just preserve marriage the way it has always been.

"OK,'' says feminist biblical scholar Mary Ann Tolbert. "What is that?''

The fact is from issues of divorce, race, religion and the role and rights of the partners, the concept of marriage has always been in play. And it continues to be today, including in this country.

Many would be surprised to know that as recently as 1967 in many states it was illegal for a mixed race couple to be granted a marriage license. An even bigger surprise, given current debate over same sex marriages, is that when the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of interracial marriage, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote that the "freedom to marry or not marry a person of another race resides in that individual.'' Note that Warren wrote "person,'' and refers to "persons'' -- not man or woman -- throughout the opinion.

So, when President Bush said yesterday that the country needed a constitutional amendment to beat back attempts to redefine marriage in this country, at least some legal experts suggested he was far too late. The institution of marriage has changed and morphed constantly through the years, and almost always to a hue and cry from those who worry about the structure of traditional marriage.

As the Massachusetts Supreme Court said in last year's ruling to allow same-sex marriage in that state, "alarms about the erosion of the 'natural order of marriage' were sounded over the demise of anti-miscegenation (mixed race marriage) laws, the expansion of rights of married women and the introduction of no-fault divorce.''

Or perhaps you would be safer going with the strict biblical definition. That gets a little tricky too.

"It is really much more complex in religious perspective than you might think,'' says Tolbert, the George Atkinson Professor for Biblical Studies at the Pacific School of Religion. "What the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) suggests as a general model for marriage is polygamy. You look at someone like Solomon who had 200 wives and 600-and-some concubines. Or Abraham, who had his first child by his wife's slave. It sounds as if it was quite normal.''

Tolbert, who is also the executive director for the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, points out that marriage didn't even become a sacrament of the church "until the 12th century. For the first 1,200 years (A.D.) in Europe there were civil unions by town or village government.''

Nor does the New Testament offer much help. In fact, by some selective readings it sounds as if the Bible has mixed views of marriage. As Tolbert says, Jesus says very little about marriage, and both he and Paul were single men. And Paul, at least, recommended chastity.

"Marriage is not a sin,'' says Paul in First Corinthians, "but it is better to be unmarried.''

"The Bible is an incredibly important sacred icon in our culture,'' says Tolbert. "But I just think a lot of people don't read it.''

Although same-sex marriage will be the subject of sermons and a source of debate in churches, the real battle as the president has framed it will be in the courts. His point, he says, is that "local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization.''

If so, it won't be the first time.

The roles of the people in a civil union have changed dramatically over history, including the recent history of the United States. It begins in the 1700s and 1800s, when married woman actually lost many of their legal rights when they agreed to get married. After marriage, they were not allowed to own property, pay taxes or sign a contract. Any money women earned outside the home was to be turned over to their husbands.

"You go back to the early years of this country,'' says Joan Hollinger, a professor at Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley specializing in child welfare and family law, "and you find that the wife became a kind of possession of the husband." It was not until the latter half of the 19th century, she said, that married women reacquired the rights they had when they were single.

As recently as 1920, the states of Arizona, Florida, Louisiana and New Mexico hadn't changed their laws.

A far greater change in marriage law came in 1948, when California was the first state to make it legal for a couple of mixed race to be married. It took another 19 years for the U.S. Supreme Court to make the same ruling. So until 1967, in many states, a couple of mixed race could not get a marriage license, and if they went to another state and were married, when they returned home they could be arrested.

"When I tell my students that was in 1967,'' said Hollinger, "they sort of gasp.''

And if you think the commotion over at City Hall is something, Hollinger says you should have been in the South when attempts were being made to overturn the anti-miscegenation laws.

"I hear Gov. Schwarzenegger talking about riots,'' she says. "I was in Mississippi in 1964. Compared to that, this is a lovefest.'


Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 05:51 PM

In reply to:

You mean like the civil rights movement in the 1960's?



OK, now wait.. lets not get overly dramatic here.. i would hardly call the civil rights movement a small interest group. thats kind of a stretch there craig.

thats not what i mean at all.. BLAH, man i just cant type out some big ole post about this subject. it would sound vague, and random. its not a specific thing i can put my finger on, but its there, and i think everyone feels it a bit.

its why that judge in georgia had to remove the plaque of the 10 commandements from the county courthouse.

its why the state of alabama had to remove the confederate colors from its state flag.

its why there has to be a warning on a cup of coffee that says "warning, coffee is hot".. DUH!!

its why we dont pray at texas high school football games anymore.

its why teachers, when assigining detention, have to assign the detention around the students schedule.

its why ross perot was ever considered for president?

its why we pay $2.25 a gallon for gas, when we have 800 billion gallons of it under an iceburg in alaska.

its why a rancher cant shoot a wild coyote while watching it attack his herd of sheep.

there is a huge range of stuff i am talking about, and trying to fit it on a single post is impossible.

craig, i believe that gay/lesbian life mates should have the same rights and benefits as a typical heterosexual married couple has. i am not arguing that point with you.

bigjohn





Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 05:54 PM

I understand your point, but I'd hardly call the GLBT community a small interest group either. We a good 5-10% of the population.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 06:01 PM

to be honest with you, i would love to get a real, accurate breakdown of exactly what the percentage of gay/lesbians there are in america. i think 10% would be a very high guesstimate.. i think 5% is a lot closer.. but, you also have to think.. everyone of those gay/lesbian citizens has moms,dads,sisters,brothers, nieces,nephews, friends, etc.. that are supporters of their cause. so i sgree, to call it a "small interest group" might have been a little off base on my part also.

bigjohn
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 07:07 PM

pmbuko, did you read the whole article? or just scan the top as the anti-US folks at Reuters hope?

Of course attacks are planned years in advance. The article also states that there was NEW info recived very recently.

Yeah, the threat level thing is stupid, but I would hardly consider it a threat to personal freedom. It's just a silly stupid thing to make the silly stupid people feel like the gov't has a handle on things.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 07:34 PM

bigjohn, if you're gonna be a liberal you gotta learn the party line. It sounds like you don't like the ACLU, PETA, SPCA, NAACP or any of the other special interest groups who wield power disproportionate to their numbers.

spiffnme, I think bigjohn, you and I have common ground here re gay "marriage". John and I think the same thing: civil unions OK, reserve "marriage" for the traditional union between a man and a woman. Wouldn't that be enough? Why does the term marriage need to be redefined? The article you quoted even stated that marriage as a religous ceremony is 800 years old. That seems like a lot of tradition to throw out the window. Atheist here, BTW.

IMO, for the gay and lesbian community to seek more than equal rights under the law shows that their real agenda is not equality, but to wave the homosexual banner. The civil union idea gives everybody the same rights without flaunting homosexuality in the faces of religous conservatives - or is that the point?




Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 08:30 PM

Ok.. Gay marraige.

First of all, like Spiff said "marraige" does come from religous institutions, and has always been the union of a man and a woman. It would serve the gay community well to abandon the term "marraige" altogether because religous people feel like their religion is being stolen, and will fight their cause even harder.

I believe that ANY 2 people should be allowed to register somewhere that would allow them to share insurance policies, and have access to the generic civil services that require a "family type" relationship to obtain. This should also apply to any 2 men or women that are friends, even if they aren't having sex. There is such a thing as platonic love.

The one thing I have to draw the line at is any kind of tax breaks for gay couples, regardless of the term used to describe the relationhip. The reason is simple. Reproduction. There is a high likelyhood that a normal couple will have a child after getting married. They will have 16-18 years of supporting a person that has no income, and should get a tax break to help them with that. After all, everyone born would cause someone to get that break, so it is fair. Gay couples can not have children, so a tax break is not necessary.

Other than that, whatever satifies their need for basic access to services, I'm for.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 08:40 PM

IM-deeply-humble-O, the whole hang up about civil union (CU) vs. marriage (M) is the idea of "separate but equal", which I believe is a red herring. The only thing making it "separate" is terminology. In the eyes of the law, CU = M. In the eyes of some people in the gay community, CU < M because M is not available to them. They won't give up until the term Marriage loses any sense of gender specificity. That is not possible.

Picture this scenario: It's the late 1800s and the Women's Suffrage Movement is in full swing. What if the opposition had allowed them the "right to cast ballots" in 1895 instead of "the right to vote", which actually happened in 1920. Would they have accepted it or refused and pressed on with their cause to get the exact word they wanted written into law?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 08:43 PM

Michael_A,

I thought getting married resulted in slightly less favorable tax status, not a break as you say. Also, currently you only get breaks per child, so your "potential for having children" logic doesn't really apply.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 09:19 PM

Gays can adopt. Straights don't always have children. If a sterile woman or man were to get married, should they not be allowed to file their taxes jointly? Heck, should they be allowed to marry at all?

That arguement has more holes than my socks.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 10:44 PM

"IM-deeply-humble-O, the whole hang up about civil union (CU) vs. marriage (M) is the idea of "separate but equal", which I believe is a red herring. The only thing making it "separate" is terminology. In the eyes of the law, CU = M. In the eyes of some people in the gay community, CU < M because M is not available to them. They won't give up until the term Marriage loses any sense of gender specificity. That is not possible."

That's what I meant to say.

A friend who doesn't want to get involved PM'd me with the notion that the gay community is seeking "approval" vs mere "acceptance". Civil union is pretty much an acceptance of one's personal choice to be gay, I reckon. But this whole thing seems like a whole lot of unnecessary fuss about where a guy wants to stick his pecker, but whatever...

The best tax year we ever had was our first year in our new house. We weren't married , filed separately, with her taking the std deduction and me taking the interest on the loan, etc... to itemize. Got married the next year, lost the nice tax situation, she stopped trying so hard to please me ("Every night is unrealistic" ), and the rest is wedded bliss.

Seems like you ought to have to pay more taxes if you have more kids. Like user fees. More kids = using more services.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 11:21 PM

As far as taxes go, this coming year we're going to be getting a bit screwed that we can't file jointly. The house is in Roger's name, but I make a lot more money than he does. He'll likely be able to write off far more in taxes than he paid. If we could file jointly we'd be getting a lot more of our tax dollars back. Plain and simple, we can't because we're gay. Doesn't seem fair.


Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 08/03/04 11:44 PM

Peter,

As a single guy, I have no direct experience with taxes, marraige, or children. I do, however, hear the guys at work talking about how with the deductions that they get for being married with 2 childen and a house, they pay very little taxes. I pay a ton of taxes, and have a bigger mortgage than most of them. There MUST be something to it. Maybe I need a new accountant?

Craig,

I said that straight couples were "likely" to have a child. Not that all of them would. Laws, rules, taxes, etc. need to be set up to deal the "average" citizen or household, Not all people will be within those categories.

With all due respect to you as a person, my belief is that gay couples should not be allowed to adopt children. It has nothing to do with you or your spouse. I believe that every child should be raised under the assumption that they will be normal in all repects, including being straight, unless something comes along and prevents that.

If environment is a factor in determining sexual orientation, then there is the possibility of doing harm to a child by placing it in an environment that could alter it's normal development. If we put normal children in gay households, and the environment makes them gay, then we have harmed that child.

If environment does not play a part into how that child develops sexually, then we have erred on the side of caution, with the best intentions of the child in mind.

If sexual orientation is genetic, or has some other incurable, medically valid cause, then environment would not be a factor and again, we have erred on the side of caution.

If there's even the slightest chance that environment plays a part in determining sexual orientation, then I do not think we should risk altering the normal development of a single child. All children deserve a chance at a normal life. We sholdn't put thm at a disadvantage from the get go.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 12:21 AM

I have a question,...

If its becomming the norm to change the way things are done for some ppl, why can't we just expand that to rest of the world. Hell women deserve the right to vote n such, I think we definitely need to liberate all women in the middle east. Hell they'd shoot you over there if ur gay, thats not right. We need to fix that as well.

Seriously, the gay marriage thing is possibly the hardest social issue since the civial rights movement. But I hardly would compare them apples to apples. Its just more different than similar IMO.

Now personally I also have no issues with any gay person, esp having the same rights as *married* couples do. But I do have a BIG concern on this issue because after 'marriage' is redefined, 'family' will be next. Tell me that the majority of social issues in our country couldn't be fixed by having a stronger home? I'm not saying two men can't raise a kid, but there IS a lot to be said by children being raised by the influence of a man AND a woman. There is just no denying that.

That is why I am personally torn on the gay marriage issue.

Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 12:37 AM

Anybody else getting uncomfortable with the gay marriage subject?

How about that psycho Kerry is married to? She looks, sounds and acts like a bag lady wearing Versace. Can you imagine Teresa Heinz as the First Lady?
I saw the real First Lady on the O'Reilly show tonight - now there is one wonderful, classy, intelligent, beautiful woman. I think Bush is smarter than folks give him credit for, but how did he score a great lady like that?
Speaking of O'Reilly, he seems to have toned down his act a little. Much more polite (except when some absolute moron gets on the show) than he was before. Thanks for getting me back into the FoxNews channel, guys. I had pretty much abandoned TV news.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 01:13 AM

In reply to:

I think Bush is smarter than folks give him credit for, but how did he score a great lady like that?




Money talks.




I kid! I kid!
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 07:49 AM

Yeah BigWill, It is a very uncomfortable topic to discuss. I think NOT discussing the tough topics causes more problems in the long run, though. One of my cousins is gay, and another recently "discovered" that he's bi right after his 40th birthday. Go figure. I love both of them to death, and they have been 2 of my favorite cousins forever. I've had this very discussion with Jimmy, and we agree on some points and not on others. He regularly calls me to discuss things when he feels like he can't talk to anyone else in the family.

For me the whole issue boils down to the fact that we should be able to come up with a way to accomodate the needs of the gay community without a.) screwing with current religous and social "norms", and b.) making people who object to a behavior, pay to propogate that behavior.

Now, a flat tax, or a national sales tax could take care of that aspect of it... Batter up!

Good day,
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 08:08 AM

A. She is a woman that searches out powerful men.

B. She was drunk!
Posted by: Radspecv

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 09:51 AM

Maybe Bush has 10 inches of swinging.....

Anyway, back to the "alternative lifestyle" topic. The company I work for offers all medical benefits to any employee's "domestic partner" as long as they've lived together for the past year. That seems like the best deal - the medical benefits with no marriage penaltywhen they do their taxes. On the tax note, what does everyone think about a flat tax? It seems like a good idea to me.

Pete
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 10:13 AM

i DO NOT agree with a flat tax. of course, this whole tax issue varies with each person, with the main dividing line being 'how much you make'. here is my reasoning.

lets say the flat tax rate is set at 10%.. ok, if you have a guy that makes $1000 bucks, he gets $100 deducted for taxes, and that only leaves him with $900 bucks.. thats not a lot of money.. now, lets say a guy makes $1 million bucks.. he deducts $100,000 in taxes, that still leaves him $900,000 bucks.. thats plenty.

my point being that if you make a lot, and your taxes are higher, you are STILL gonna have a lot when its all said and done. it truly makes me sick to see the sheer greed and self indulgent lifestyles of the extremely rich, and then for them to complain about their taxes. just eat some more caviar, and shut the f*ck up!!

oops, its not like i feel strongly about this or nothing!!

bigjohn
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 10:40 AM

BigJohn;

The flaw in your argument is that is that more often than not under the present system the guy making a million dollars pays LESS than 100k in taxes because of the loopholes inherent in the system. Also, most proponents of the flat tax (myself included) also recommend the institution of a national sales tax (for non-essentials, food, clothing, etc. would be exempt) to tax consumption. This would make sure that that millionare paid his share while spending his leftover 900k, and would encourage saving.

A flat tax + national sales tax or VAT would do a lot to cure the ills in this country, as would limiting government spending to 20% of GNP. Did you know that right now government spending is about 40% of GNP? That is a huge number.

Mark
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 12:42 PM

In reply to:

With all due respect to you as a person, my belief is that gay couples should not be allowed to adopt children.



Clearly you don't think I'm due much respect.

In reply to:

If we put normal children in gay households, and the environment makes them gay, then we have harmed that child.



That's assuming that being gay is harmful/wrong. The only harmful thing about being gay is having people like yourself tell you your entire life that there's something wrong with you.
In reply to:

or has some other incurable, medically valid cause...



Does being attracted to and falling in love with a person of the opposite sex also have a "incurable, medically valid cause"?





Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 01:10 PM

i have a female cousin on my moms side of the family who is gay, and my uncle on my dads side is gay. my wife also has an aunt that is gay. to be honest, there is no way you could look at these people and not think that they were born gay. i firmly believe that most people that are gay, are just born that way. it is in their person, its not a choice they make. if i had to put it to a ratio, i would say 95% of the gay community were born that way, and the other 5% got there thru sexual experimentation. either way, i dont think it makes them any more, or less of a person than me, it just makes them different. and thats where the stigma is with heterosexuals. its not the act, its more of the unknown, or lack of understanding, that makes people uneasy when dealing with gays/lesbians.

i dont think a child in a gay home is destined to grow up gay. but i will acknowledge that a child in that environment, will have to deal with situations and questions that a child in a heterosexual home would not have to deal with. regardless, gay or not, a good parental unit(man/woman, man/man, woman/woman) should be able to talk to, and explain things to their kids. teaching tolerance begins at home!!

bigjohn




Posted by: Radspecv

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 01:18 PM

I think there have been studies that have determined that homosexuality cna be caused by hormones being lacking during fetal development i.e. if a boy doesn't get enough testosterone at a certain phase he'll end up gay. It seems to me that the level/amounts missing determine just how gay - from bi-curious gay to Jack McFarland gay. This is just something I heard so I don't know if it's true adn I can't quote the source.

My take - anyone who will provide a good, nuturing home for a child should be allowed to have one. There are plenty of hetero couples that are complete trailer-trash, welfare-aponging losers that don't deserve kids and they get as many as they want. It's a bunch of sh!t.

An interesting note - I have a friend (hetero) who has a twin brother that is gay. I don't think environment had much to do with that one, since they grew up together. Although he spent some time in South America, where they have some kind of ball-grabbing custon.

Pete
Posted by: pablo

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 02:11 PM

"I think there have been studies that have determined that homosexuality cna be caused by hormones being lacking during fetal development i.e. if a boy doesn't get enough testosterone at a certain phase he'll end up gay. "

To be honest, I think that testosterone stuff is what's gotten me into more trouble than just about anything else over the years.Thank god for those who have less of it to make up & balance out us dudes.

Really I agree with Bigjohn on the tolerence thing - it has to start at the home. From what I can tell it would be awfully difficult for everyone to agree upon what constitutes the ideal / "normal" family in which to raise kids. IMO the key is having 2 loving people that are able to show & share that love with their kids. If you don't have that, it's not a ideal / "normal" family, as least in my view. How do you legislate that ?
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 07:12 PM

I think the best tax system would be to figure out how much money the government needs for the year, divide it by the number of citizens over age 18, and send us a bill.

It would probably end up being $32 a person. I don't feel like looking up the actual numbers right now, but it might be interesting to figure out sometime.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 07:25 PM

Not a bad idea. Would be much better than borrowing from China to fund the recent tax refund checks.
Posted by: SpockTheater

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 07:28 PM

Ok guys, I must say that this is BY FAR the best Political thread I’ve ever had the absolute joy of reading. *applauds to all* Another message board that I read http://www.mikeportnoy.com/forum has now banned political discussions due to the immature idiots there. Anyway, being a Conservative, over-opinionated Southern boy (without the accent) I just can’t keep it too myself any longer. Now did I just stereotype myself? *scratches head*

Well, after reading most of all the posts, up to the gay marriage discussions, which is next, I wanted to add the Africa talks. I’ve now reached the conclusion that the “socially aware” media who knows all is feeding us the Iraq feast, while the real party is (not a flying one for any Douglas Adams fans) going on in Africa. I’ve been reading over the past couple of weeks about what’s going on in Darfur, Sudan and it’s quite sickening. As usual, it’s the same Muslims vs. non-Muslims (Christians perhaps) activity. One million innocent, trying to survive, people have left their own homes so they don’t have to have their daughters and wives raped for 4 – 6 hours at a time by up to 6 different men or be one of the 50,000+ (UN latest estimate) killed since this started last year. Also the Arab militias, called Janjaweed are keeping foreign aid from reaching the starving people. The irony is that the UN is just sitting around pondering the definition of the word “genocide” instead of actually doing anything about it. (nothing new there) The US has basically said, “keep this up and you’ll get a big spankin’”. I’m glad to see that we are taking a stand against this atrocity. In terms of the big picture, this seems to be another phase in our “War on Terror” and if anyone feels that this isn’t terrorism, maybe they should go live there and see if they survive.

Sadly however, to me Africa can seem like a bit of a lost cause sometimes. Since now they are protesting our word in the ordeal and deny that they have a problem. Also given the fact that they believe that a woman canNOT get pregnant from being raped and that a raped woman is now “unclean” and can’t be taken back her “husband”. Add these to 2x6spds’s insightful reports. The harsh reality to face is that the problem here is solely a corrupt government protecting their power and an ignorant society that’s blind to it. Also, even if we do something about it, the terrorist groups will still hate the US just for our existence alone. Honestly the only solution to this is to educate the African population and empower them to revolt against their own government with a civil war. Sad resolution, but sometimes war is an unavoidable remedy. Sorry if this seems to be last week’s news, but I just had to rant for a bit. Carry on.

PS - 2x6spd, I might not agree with you about expensive speaker cables, but WOW!! I’ll discuss politics with you any day of the week.

Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 07:44 PM

Why do you even need the flat tax? Just the national sales tax based on what we spend, and we wouldn't have to do taxes every year any more either

Only issue I see there is any "black market" that people buy and sell while avoiding the national sales tax. It would have to be a significant chunk of $ if this was the only way for govt. to get income.

BTW...I don't even know that I agree with this idea, I just came up with it as reading through this stuff. I would have to think about it a little more to determine what I thought would work best.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/04/04 10:59 PM

WOW, I step away to have a baby and look where this thread goes….gotta love it. Yes, I now have a beautiful baby girl named Alexandra. I can’t stop staring at her….completely enamored with her.

OK….let’s dig in while her and the wife are sleeping:

1. Disgust with ‘the rich’ - I find it interesting to hear everyone’s disgust of the rich. Yes, I too roll my eyes at the utter excess that I see driving around here in Atlanta or when watching Cribs or other shows of the like. However, I don’t have the resentment that I hear in many people’s opinions. I’m not sure if this stems from jealousy or that sense of entitlement thing that I was preaching about earlier in this thread. Regardless, I think people need to stop and realize that ‘the rich’ are a necessary component of a capitalist society. Our system is arranged around the concept of innovation and determination to obtain wealth. Everything that we do is to make money. Look at what we now have thanks to that search for wealth – railroads, oil wells/refineries, automobiles, computers, pharmaceuticals, radiology, vaccinations, Axiom speakers, Velcro, air travel, mass transit, skyscrapers, television, refrigeration, the Internet, the telephone, the cell phone……The list is never-ending. All of these inventions came about because someone recognized a need in society and made the effort to meet that need, which, in turn resulted in the need being met and their acquisition of wealth. You may want to hate these people, but they are the ones that are responsible for this country being the world power that it is today. You may want to hate the “Robber Barons”, but to do so is irresponsible. Bill Gates may seem like a money-grubbing fiend worthy of hatred, but his contributions to this countries economy are beyond description. Just take a look at what you are typing on right now.

2. Kerry – I’m getting pretty damned tired of hearing about his service in Vietnam. Let me preface that I think that questioning anyone’s service in the armed forces is generally inappropriate unless one has served. That being said, Kerry has opened up the door by using his service as the support structure for his campaign. We are continually pounded by the message the service record of this war hero makes him appropriate to serve as the Commander and Chief of this nation. The problem I find with this comes when you do a little research about Kerry’s actual war record. From what I have read in accounts from swiftboat captains that served with Kerry, the incidents for which he received his awards are definitely questionable, consisting of superficial wounds and exaggerated situations. No matter how much the dems want to paint that group (www.swiftvets.com) as a bunch of partisan henchman, I find it hard to believe a man that takes a video recorder into combat to reenact combat activities and mock interviews over the bulk of his fellow swiftboat captains that dispute his war record and his readiness for the role of President. Kerry did whatever it took, including going over the heads of his superiors, to obtain the necessary medals to guarantee his rapid departure from Vietnam and his future role in politics.

3. Taxes & “Fair Share” – I love it when this comes up. Democrats want the rich to pay their “fair share” of the taxes. They will, however, never acknowledge the well-known statistics that show that the top 5% of wage earners pay over 50% of all taxes….top 50% of wage-earners pay over 95% of all taxes. To do so would have to acknowledge the fact that they are paying the entire tab. Like those merry days of ‘ole, the rich are robbed to pay the poor. At the tip of a gun, the government takes 5 months of your pay to fund it’s racket, which continues to fuel unending beurocratic entitlement programs that were well-intended, but have become a scourge on our society by creating a class of people latched to the nipple of the government.

4. Mark – Great to see another person inspired by John Stossel’s book. What a wonderful book…..really peels back the onion to show you how really screwed up the system is and how truly brainwashed many Americans are.

5. Healthcare positions – Kerry is swinging around the bait to the entitlement crowd promising the same healthcare to all citizens that is enjoyed by the members of Congress. Man, I got cold sweats when I heard that. He finally said it…..he is promoting socialized medicine. Equal healthcare for all. How the hell does he think he is going to fund this…..with the tax-cut roll-backs?…wrong. He’s going to do so by raising taxes on the middle and upper class, which translates to everyone. So, again, my paycheck that I work damned hard for gets scalped to fund the healthcare of those that have made a choice not to pursue their education and the resulting higher paying jobs. Should I get cheaper healthcare than they do?…you’re damn right I should. I work my butt off for my company and they pay a ton of money to the insurance carriers that provide that care to me. As others have said, affordable healthcare is not a guarantee in society. It’s a luxury that is earned by those willing to pull their own weight in society. For everyone else, there are safety nets to provide for them until they decide to move ahead. Man, that sounds cold, but it’s how I feel. People like my own damn Mom think they are owed quality healthcare when they make the choice to piss away their savings and neglect their responsibility to make their own way in society.

6. Stem Cell Research – People need to get over this notion that people will start terminating pregnancy for this research. That termination will happen no matter what. The question is whether or not the idea of offending the beliefs of one group is worth the greater good of humanity….the potential medical breakthrough that could drastically affect the health of millions of people worldwide.

7. Gay Marriage – Man, I got scared for this thread when this topic came up. This issue above many will often fuel argument and polarization. My personal view is in line with a few of you that have discussed the idea of separation of legal unions and the religious concept of marriage. This is hard for many religious people to accept, but marriage is a legal union in the eyes of the law, one that guarantees a set of rights and responsibilities. In this context, to deny this right to gay couple is discrimination, pure and simple…as much as past laws denying interracial marriage. It’s another example of religion infringing into the function of law and the state and our country is so damn homophobic that they won’t listen to reason and accept their culpability in this injustice.

8. Homosexuality – First of all, I find it so frustrating to hear people refer to homosexuality as a matter of choice. Does anyone honestly think that anyone in their right mind would choose to be gay?….choose to be the target of such animosity and discrimination?…choose to be shunned in the eyes of so many people? It makes absolutely no sense. There are too many stories of people growing up in the same environment, yet maintaining different sexual dispositions. The problem is that many refuse to acknowledge this because it would mean that their religious beliefs and teaching might be flawed.

9. Homosexuals and Adoption – Let’s get something straight, us straight people haven’t really proven our mastery of the act of raising children and maintaining healthy households….at least not enough to caste stones at gay couples. We continue to watch and sometimes celebrate the birth of babies to ignorant 17 year olds and welfare families that can’t understand the concept of birth control, yet we want to deny a family of two loving people willing to adopt and raise a child that may otherwise grow up in foster care, etc.

10. Infringing on established traditions – Man, I get tired of this argument. It’s been used throughout history to justify discrimination, injustice, and intolerance. Down here in Georgia, the Flaggots (Neil Bortz’s catch-phrase) come out in droves every time the issue of the confederate flag comes up. They chant the usual cries of tradition and are unwilling to admit that the flag is disrespectful to the incredibly large population of African-Americans here in Georgia. They mask their racist intent under the disguise of concern for tradition….too bad the flag was only adopted in the last 50 or so years as a protest to the federal desegregation movement.

11. Infringing on Liberties – I think that we as a people have forgotten that the purpose of government is to protect the life and liberty of its people. When you apply that tenet to many of these issues, you have to admit that government power is abused to deny the rights and liberties of others. Gay marriage does not affect anyone’s liberties except those that you would deny that right. Everyone else is simply using government power to oppress others. Some reading this will roll their eyes saying that I’m one of those ‘legalize pot libertarians’. Before you do so, please tell me how someone’s use of marijuana affects your liberty? It doesn’t. Any issues concerning driving, workplace, etc are legal issues just like DUI. The act that infringes on the rights of others is what should be illegal, not the one that doesn’t. Otherwise, alcohol should be illegal. These types of infractions are all over the place. We have become so government-happy that we have allowed it to be used to infringe on the rights and liberties that it is supposed to protect.

12. Flat Tax – Great Idea!!! Our tax structure is in dire need of an overhaul. Plus, we could really get everyone paying their “fair share”.

I’m sure that I’ve pissed a few people off by now….sorry, sleep deprivation has washed away all the sugarcoating.

OK….off to bed. The baby is asleep for now, so need to catch what little sleep I can.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 03:13 AM

Pissed someone off? I thought you were doing a nose dive with #1, but you pulled out of it quickly. You make complete sense.

The only problem I have with #1 is that I think you misunderstand the disgust some people have. I might not agree with some of Bill Gates' business practices. but he certainly worked hard to get where he is. I admire self-made men and women. The people that disgust me are the current flock of child millionaires who flaunt their money but contribute absolutely zero to society. Take Paris Hilton, for example. People like her should have to pay a "waste of human flesh tax"... Ok, so that's a bit overboard... I didn't really mean it -- but then again, I didn't edit it out, either.


Oh, and congrats on the baby!!! I hope my second (whenever the time comes) will be a girl.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 03:30 AM

I'll definitely have to agree with you on this one. The stupidity of some of those MTV debutantes is mindblowing....or in Paris' case... something else. The Hilfigger girl on that MTV show defined self-centered ignorant prima donna.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 03:31 AM

Wow Turbo, on the whole you make some excellent points.

With regards to #2, while I do agree Kerry has been a bit too eager with the Vietnam card, apparently Kerry's videotapes from Vietnam are less reenactments as they are just simple journals of the places the battles took place. I'm searching for the link (knew I should've bookmarked it!), but a journalist who initially criticized Kerry for reenacting battles later viewed over 40 hours of those videotapes and came to the conclusion that it was more of a sort of postcard "I was here" journal not uncommon with soldiers at the time, with little reenactment or Kerry playing the hero. Dammit I need to find that link.

I completely agree with you on points 6 through 11. Well said.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 03:37 AM

Great post, and congrats on the little one! Just a quick response to your excellent points.

1) disgust with the rich - My only issue with the super rich is when they whine about paying so much taxes.

2) Kerry/Vietnam - I think the only reason his Vietnam service is being crammed down our throats (I too am tired of hearing it) is because one of the only issues in which Kerry polls lower than Bush is in the roll as a military leader.

3) I'd like to see some sources behind those numbers.

4) I need to pick that book up.

5) Healthcare - OK...we kind of disagree on this one. I don't personally think good healthcare should be a luxury of the well off,

6) Yep...and even calling it a pregnancy is pushing it. This is research that should be fully supported.

7) I too was worried, but I think we all handled ourselves very well. Needless to say I agree with you 100%, Can I tell you how much those Fox "reality" shows like "Who wants to Marry a Millionare" piss me off? It's the biggest slap in the face you can imagine. Yeah...YOU can't get married, but we'll have a game show and have two complete strangers get hitched because he's rich. GRRRRRRR...

8) Again...100% agreement. Coming out was very stressfull, as I didn't know how my friends and family would react. Thankfully my family is cool, and I clearly know how to choose friends well. Not everyone is so lucky though. Too suggest I, or anyone else "chose" to be gay is ridiculous.

9) Again...100% agreement.

10) This is getting tedious...again we're in agreement.

11) Yep again...and I too believe drugs should be legalized. Honestly...for those of you who do NOT use drugs, is it because they're illegal? Doubtful. All you have to do is look at the days of Prohibition, and look at all the crime involved in bootlegging and see that the "war on drugs" is pretty much the same exact thing. Legalize the damn things, tax the [censored] out of them, and require a doctor's prescription to get them. It'll eliminate a HUGE amount of crime, get LOT's of addicts into rehab programs, and raise a TON of revenue for the government.

12) Flat tax...hmmm...I'm on the fence on this one. On the surface it seems like a really logical idea, but I'd need to know some more info before I could fully support it.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 10:03 AM

I still have do disagree with you about the rich whining about paying more taxes. Why shouldn't they? They pay the bulk of them....plain and simple. It probably wouldn't be so hard for them to pallet if it weren't for all of the rampant abuse that they constantly hear about. I think that everyone wants to help his fellow man to a degree, but it is really hard to swallow paying so much damn taxes and watching the government piss it all away.

Here are some links:
Fair Tax Site
Tax Distribution Stats

It sounds like we are not going to fully agree on healthcare availability. I would just ask that you be careful with classifying good healthcare with luxuries. Don't forget that people's healthcare is funded out of their own paychecks, both in direct contributions and by employer contributions, which are in turn a part of their pay package. It's not a luxury....it's earned. That's the key word...."earned"...people advocating socialized medicine want to give affordable healthcare to all. When you pull back the rhetoric, you will see that what they want is for the paying taxpayer to subsidize the healthcare of the needy. That's not necessarily a problem if we are talking about basic care. However, it's a bit presumptuous to assume that the American taxpayer wants to make sure that those not paying taxes don't have to pay more than $5 for a copay....especially when they'll spend a hell of a lot more than that for a gameboy for their kid or a set of chrome rims for their tires.

Drug War - It's a complete joke. We waste billions on it and have not reduced the influx of drugs into this country. We never will. Like you said, legalize it and then tax it. Like cigarettes and alcohol, people will still pay for it.

OK...baby is finally asleep again. I'm off to take a cat-nap.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 11:29 AM

I'm reading the fair tax page...specifically the FAQ section. Some issues it raises.

1. I could potentially see this generating even some extra income, since all of the tourists that come to the US would be subject to this consumption tax, where they are not taxed by us now. By the same token, this could cause some of those countries to get upset with us and/or reduce tourism in the US. I wouldn't be excited about being taxed at 23% in another country after already paying my income taxes over here.

2. At one point it said taxes on food and such aren't exempt to prevent loopholes from being developed later, but then it goes on to say in #12 "money to build job-creating factories, finance research and development to create new products, or fund charitable activities " isn't this the type of exemption they were trying to avoid.

Ok number 12 in the list is as far as I've made it. I've got to get back to work...I'll have to read the rest later and add another post if needed.
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 04:04 PM

My opinion on the gay couples having children isn't completely formed yet. There are lots of people who in my opinion shouldn't have children, including teenagers, single women, and those that can't afford them. It seems that our creator (whoever or whatever that is...I don't believe in any commonly accepted concept of "God") designed us so that male and female individuals are required to produce a child for a reason. That reason is that male and female role models are necessary, or at least desirable, for proper child development. That said, I really do not have a problem with gay couples adopting children, because I have to believe that, although a two parent household with male and female role models is optimal, that two loving same sex parents are preferable to foster care or a single parent household.

On the other hand, lesbian couples conceiving with a turkey baster and some sperm (and couldn't Melissa Ethridge found a better donor than a short, fat, bald drug addict?) just doesn't feel right to me, but I can't say why. Maybe it's because there are so many two-sex couples who desparately want children, but can't have them.

Mark
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 04:46 PM

In reply to:

It seems that our creator (whoever or whatever that is...I don't believe in any commonly accepted concept of "God") designed us so that male and female individuals are required to produce a child for a reason.




Required?


Posted by: SpockTheater

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 04:51 PM

I think he means producing a child requires a male and a female. Naturally speaking of course.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 08:48 PM

I'm gonna nitpick here, even though I pretty much agree with what you're saying.

In reply to:

It seems that our creator (whoever or whatever that is...I don't believe in any commonly accepted concept of "God") designed us so that male and female individuals are required to produce a child for a reason. That reason is that male and female role models are necessary, or at least desirable, for proper child development.


I happen to believe in evolution -- and whether or not that evolution was influenced or set in motion by outside "powers" is immaterial. I think you're placing the cart before the horse here -- or maybe this is a chicken vs. egg thing.

I think that the "male and female role model" idea is completely dependent on the historical fact that it used to take a male and female and an act of coitus to produce a child. In this modern day of sperm donors and artificial / in vitro insemination, this is no longer the case.

In fact, because it's impossible for a gay couple to accidentally conceive, the ones who do decide to have children have gone through the lengthy thought process and are better prepared to be parents than many hetero couples who just give it the ol' college try.
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 08/05/04 11:53 PM

To clarify: By "Our Creator" I could mean the summation of natural laws and forces that shaped human evolution. I also believe in evolution, and evolution designed us so that it takes a male and a female to conceive a child. Do children who grow up in a household with two parents of the same sex develop the same as children who have two different sex parents? I don't know the answer to that question. I do feel that children who grow up in single parent households without a male role model suffer from this lack. They may never learn how how men are supposed to relate to women without a father to learn from. Might then the lack of a female role model handicap a child being raised by 2 men? I do not know the answer to this question, but until I do, I am less than totally comfortable with same sex couples rearing children. If it could be shown that children of same sex couples were no different that children of two sex couples, then I would have no objection to the adoption of children by gay couples. My opinion is subject to change-if there is any research that sheds light on this question, I would be happy to look at it.

In reply to:

In fact, because it's impossible for a gay couple to accidentally conceive, the ones who do decide to have children have gone through the lengthy thought process and are better prepared to be parents than many hetero couples who just give it the ol' college try.




That is a good point. I readily concede that a gay couple, motivated enough to go through the process of adopting a child, will be better parents than many women and couples that have babies the old fashioned way. You can't stop them from having babies, so I guess we shouldn't stop gay couples from having babies. I just have lingering doubts that a household without role models of both sexes is as good as one that has both.

Mark
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/06/04 12:49 AM

Y'all been at it while I was vacationing.

Can't argue with anything the doc says.

A flat income tax rate is fair. I don't see how it could get more fair than that. Sales taxes are not fair, it can be argued, because the poor and middle class end up paying a greater percentage of their income on the tax than do the wealthy.

All the class warfare, the loathing of the rich, is ugly.

Old money - families that do nothing to earn their riches but wait for dad to die - is a little discouraging to us commoners who must make our own ways in life. But what are you gonna do, steal the cash from them with inheritance taxes?

All the newly rich - people who got lucky, or struck it rich with a particular idea or skill, is what this country is all about. We all dream about hitting it big and telling the boss to f**k off, don't we? But remember, for every one of those success stories there are thousands of failures. People who invested everything they had in their little businesses, or in their athletic or performing arts careers and failed. Why be vindictive toward those who have succeeded? It's just wrong if you ask me.

Speaking of wrongs - I just came back from the horse track at Del Mar. The dollar I take up to the window was taxed when I earned it, taxed when I bet it, and taxed again if I happen to get lucky. The windfall tax is as wrong as the death tax, IMO.

Lastly, though I have only one very young kid, it seems to me that job one in parenting is making the little guy feel loved. We've all seen plenty of hetero couples fail to do even that. Gay couples are obviously disadvantaged, but kids are much more resilient (and stubborn) than we give them credit for. The preacher's daughter becomes a whore and the drug addicts' kid becomes a doctor.

Spiffnme, if you were raising an adoptive son would you encourage him to be gay, straight or neither?
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/06/04 01:52 AM

In reply to:

Spiffnme, if you were raising an adoptive son would you encourage him to be gay, straight or neither?




There's no encouraging needed. As you grow up you'll be attracted to men, women, or both. Did any of you here need encouraging to be attracted to girls or boys when you grew up? I really doubt it. Hormones are far to strong for that.

I would just be happy and excited that he was able to find someone he loved and who loved him back. It wouldn't matter in the least what sex his mate was.

A friend of mine who is a devout athiest, has a theory that homosexuality is part of evolution. His theory is that it's in the best interest of the group as a whole to have some members not procreate. As a primative species he feels that having the few extra "gay aunts and uncles" around could contribute to the group as a whole without the burden of rearing their own children. Just his theory. I'd never heard it before. But it does have it's merits.

I realize that will get the anti-gay adoption people thinking...but please realize, were not exactly living in caves and hunting our food with spears anymore either.






Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/06/04 07:40 AM

Read up on the "fair tax" version of the flat sales tax from the link provided earlier. The FAQ give a lot of details. It is still a progressive tax, since the first portion of everyone's spending is not taxed.

I'm not quite sure where all the money is coming from though, since it points out all the ways people save...is it just the broad base that catches everyone that brings in enough revenue to equal what the govt. gets now?
Posted by: Ajax

Re: OT: politics - 08/06/04 07:53 AM

In reply to:

...but please realize, were not exactly living in caves and hunting our food with spears anymore either.


Obviously he's never seen my apartment or eaten a meal I've cooked.


Posted by: FordPrefect

Re: OT: politics - 08/06/04 02:26 PM

time for a little humour.....

In reply to:

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."




President Bush at a signing ceremony for the Department of Defense's 2005 Appropriations Act. No one in Bush's audience of military brass or Pentagon chiefs reacted.

It's the fact that no one reacted that brings a smile to my face.


Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/06/04 02:29 PM

i saw that on letterman last night.. your right, he didnt flinch, and neither did anyone else..

i wonder if our enemies are still using "strategery". ?

bigjohn
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/06/04 03:35 PM

I read up on the sales tax idea. Couldn't really find out definitively what the plan is, but it smells fishy. In EVERY example of personal income and tax rates they analyzed, the amount paid in taxes went down. How can that be possible and still maintain the gov't's current funding levels? There is more to that than what they're showing - I ain't buying it.

The second link that Turbodog provided was very interesting, however. If the numbers from the budget office are correct in that table then it appears the liberal notion of the top 1% having 90% of the wealth is erroneous (at least the income levels don't reflect that - maybe there are some other numbers that take into account real property).

Spiff, of course I knew you wouldn't encourage a son to be gay. I forget what I was driving at; I may have been drinking last night, but I can't be certain.

I've always struggled with the "homosexuality is a genetic trait" argument because the gay gene would seem to be doomed in any organism carrying it due to the non-reproducing nature of that organism. Your friend's argument does supply a reason for the existence of a agy recessive gene, but that is opening up a huge can of worms (That can of worms being the notion that behaviors are a product of genetic predisposition. We could basically abandon all personal responsibility for our behaviors and blame our genetic make-up. It could also imply that cultural differences between races are the product of different genetic tendencies). Regardless, the human genome project will likely one day be able to substantiate or refute that belief.

I have no proof, but I would venture that for many homosexuals the root cause was a difficulty in the reconciliation of growing sexual desires with social norms regarding sexual behavior. I would also venture that such difficulty is the cause of other "deviations" (not making a judgement, I just mean deviation from the norm).
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/06/04 10:08 PM

I agree, and would have some questions about the "fair tax" as well. The part about taxes going down for everyone was a question for me too. I don't know if they expect the broader tax base to make up for this or what. Either someone is paying more, or just more people are paying...they are making up that $ somehow. I posted a couple of other things earlier in the thread that I would have questions about as well before I could support such a tax plan fully. I do like the idea of getting rid of/simplifying the current screwed up tax code though.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 12:57 AM

So...

What's everyone's take on the Swiftboat Vets add. (I heard bits and peices of this almost a year ago)

Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 03:26 AM

It might be interesting to note that this group once tried to claim that Kerry's service records were doctored and that he never actually served in Vietnam.

I think it's a blatant political move involving a lot of lies. None of these guys served on the same boat as Kerry (here is some good info about the opinions of those who did serve under Kerry on his boat), and they all admit that on the day of the action that lead to Kerry receiving the Silver Star, they were at least 50 yards away from Kerry's boat. One of the guys who claimed to be the doctor who treated Kerry's wound later admitted that he wasn't a doctor at the time and only briefly saw the wounds, didn't treat them. One of Kerry's superiors later retracted his statement that Kerry didn't deserve the Silver Star. Actually, there is one guy who served with Kerry and doesn't like him, but draw your own conclusions.

Oh, and here's some lovely info on Jerome Corsi, the co-author of "Unfit for Command". Seems like an awfully level-headed and fair guy, doesn't he?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 04:00 AM

Why do veterans overwhelmingly support Bush when he avoided the draft, cut veterans' benefits, and sat a bsolutely still for 7 minutes while the country was under attack. Sounds like a great war president to me...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 12:11 PM

I never heard anyone, including Bush detractors, claim that W is indecisive. You're charting new territory!

I think veterans groups tend to support Bush over Kerry for two reasons. 1) Most veterans are conservative older men. 2) While Kerry did in fact serve his country in war, when he returned he had all kinds of nasty things to say about his fellow soldiers and he may have "embellished" some of his stories.

Maybe I'm just depressed today, but I don't think it matters who gets elected - we're heading for socialism regardless. Anybody read Springsteen's opinion piece that was published in many newspapers around the country? Sad, sad, sad...
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 01:26 PM

In reply to:

Why do veterans overwhelmingly support Bush when he avoided the draft, cut veterans' benefits, and sat a bsolutely still for 7 minutes while the country was under attack. Sounds like a great war president to me...




Maybe because he didn't repudiate his military service, stage mock raids on the Capital, declare that the army were a bunch of rapists, murderers and thieves, and vote against every arms appropriation that came his way the last 30 years.

Mark
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 01:54 PM

Well at least there's a reason.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 02:02 PM

In reply to:

Anybody read Springsteen's opinion piece that was published in many newspapers around the country? Sad, sad, sad...


When's the last time you came across an artist who was FOR the establishment?

What's sad about this?

"Through my work, I've always tried to ask hard questions. Why is it that the wealthiest nation in the world finds it so hard to keep its promise and faith with its weakest citizens? Why do we continue to find it so difficult to see beyond the veil of race? How do we conduct ourselves during difficult times without killing the things we hold dear? Why does the fulfillment of our promise as a people always seem to be just within grasp yet forever out of reach?"
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 03:19 PM

There was some pretty language in it, no doubt.

The sad part was his anguish over the loss of American values. His idea of American values and mine are two different things apparently.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 03:55 PM

"Why do veterans overwhelmingly support Bush when he avoided the draft, cut veterans' benefits, and sat a bsolutely still for 7 minutes while the country was under attack. Sounds like a great war president to me..."

I find this Michael Moorian "7 minutes" argument to be interesting. What exactly did people expect the president to do at that juncture? At that point, we probably didn't even know it was a terrorist attack, neither of the building had fallen, the Pentagon hadn't happened, etc... In that context, what was he supposed to do?...stand up panicked, scare all the kids, and look unravelled in front of the media that was filming him?...NO. Like any president, he maintained his composure, finished what he was doing, and made a calm exit. Anything else would have been plastered all over the media for all the world to see.

Now, to the swiftboat ads. I have actually been following this topic since well before the book was released. Ever since Kerry started stumping with his war record as his foundation, I began to read up on the differing views out there on the subject, which is where I came across these guys' website.

Now, what's starting to piss me off a bit is the fact that the media is pouncing on these guys as partisan assassins without stopping for two seconds and looking at who they are and what they have to say. Hell, last night, Nightline went through a whole story about it focusing solely on their political and financial ties, without spending any time talking about who they were and what they had to say. Again, another pathetic instance where the media demonizes anyone that doesn't swim in the same direction that they do.

Perhaps these guys are getting funded by people that support Bush. Truthfully, I don't really care much about that...they have to get funding somewhere. What I do care about is the fact that this group is made up of fellow swiftboat commanders that served in the same boat group as Kerry, as well as superior officers to Kerry. Kerry supporters have been showing that picture of Kerry with his fellow commanders....What they don't tell you is that only one of the 22 shown are actively supporting Kerry for President. 2 are dead, 4 want nothing to do with this, and the rest are in this group against Kerry. The only ones supporting him are those that worked under him on his boat.

Let's face it, however much you want to paint them as partisan, it's pretty compelling that almost all of his peers in Vietnam think he's either outright lying or just embellishing on all of his stories about Vietnam. Before you go and tow the party line about these guys, you should do a little research into what they are saying.

In the end, the media is going to do it's best to wash this issue away as poor partisan tactics. After all, Kerry's record is the crux of his argument for why he thinks he should be President (notice you haven't heard anything about his many years in Congress). God forbid the media actually do it's job and demand accountability and seek the truth. Then again, to do so would be to possibly torpedo their own candidate. So, all they can do is cry foul and try and bury the story.

How much of this crap do we have to see before people realize how little neutrality exists in mainstream media? No one's asking them to support a particular position here. However, we should expect them to present the entire story for the public to process and form their own opinons....but, that's again asking them to put their agenda to the side and be impartial and fair....not holding my breath.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 04:07 PM

"After all, Kerry's record is the crux of his argument for why he thinks he should be President (notice you haven't heard anything about his many years in Congress). God forbid the media actually do it's job and demand accountability and seek the truth."

It seems the media is being very "hush-hush" about his voting record in Congress (which makes him THE MOST LIBERAL member of the Senate). Of all the issues regarding his qualifications for presidency, that would seem to be the most important, right?
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 04:19 PM

Absolutely. Truthfully, what the swiftboat captains are preaching probably wouldn't bother me as much if it weren't for the fact that Kerry continues to pound the war-hero message down our throats. Taken at face value, his actions as they describe them sound no worse than anything else the majority of these power-hungry politicians do every day of the week....a bunch of idiot peacocks fluffing up their feathers to gain and/or retain their power. The problem here is that he's asking the American public to elect him to the highest office in the country based upon that record alone, not his service in government, which is actually much more pertinent.

Then, the problem is compounded by the fact that our biased panzy media doesn't have the balls to call him out on it.

Man, I'm on a tear...must be the lack of sleep. Little baby girl was up on and off all last night.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 04:48 PM

In reply to:

Let's face it, however much you want to paint them as partisan, it's pretty compelling that almost all of his peers in Vietnam think he's either outright lying or just embellishing on all of his stories about Vietnam. Before you go and tow the party line about these guys, you should do a little research into what they are saying.




Did you read the links in my post, Turbo? Several of these people have already admittedly embellished their stories. None of these people actually served on the same boat as Kerry, all of them on the day in question (regarding his silver star) were over 50 yards away, and all but one of his actual fellow crew members have nothing but the highest praise for him. I wouldn't say almost all his peers have a bad opinion of him.

And besides, here's my biggest problem with this whole situation. If you're going to judge someone unfit to command based on his previous military service, then you've got to be even across the board. Now tell me, who would you find more fit to command:

Candidate A: Voluntarily served in Vietnam. Highly decorated and reviewed by his commanding officers, respected by those under him.

Candidate B: Served with National Guard, after admitting he didn't have the option of moving to Canada. Missed medical exams, questionable attendance at required events, requested transfer to what essentially was a desk job. May or may not have been AWOL.

Tough choice, isn't it?
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 06:53 PM

So you like W more than you liked Clinton? I forget, how did he get out of Vietnam?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 09:27 PM

That was in the past. We're talking about the future here. But you do raise a good point: military service isn't a good yardstick for measuring a presidential candidate.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 09:51 PM

No, I'm saying if we're going to judge fitness for command by past military service, than Kerry is a better choice than W, or Clinton.

But like Peter said, past military service shouldn't be the yardstick to measure fitness for office by.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 10:11 PM

Love that picture, pmb.

Aren't you afraid some arm of our enormously large and intrusive gov't bureaucracy is going to investigate you for child endangerment or something?

Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 10:44 PM

When I'm talking about his peers, I am talking about fellow commanders (equal rank peers) that served in the same boat group in which he served. These aren't just disparate boats based in the same port....These are like tanks groups. Like someone was saying on TV tonight, they run in packs like tanks, so what happens to one boat is going to be seen/experienced by multiple boats. The people rallying against him are decorated officers and numerous superior officers directly involved in the awarding of the awards in question. The people that are supporting him are a handfull of his subordinates.

Yes, some have recanted their statements. Some of those same people later stated that the papers that printed the recanting had incorrectly quoted them.

I'm not advocating for these guys and their story. I am advocating for the general public to resist the media's attempt to dismiss this story and dig into the actual meat of their assertions. John Kerry has done NOTHING to deserve that blind faith and trust.

As to judging someone fit to lead, I agree that this issue is not a good litmus test. The only one in the race focusing on this aspect of their experience is Kerry. Bush may be annoying/irritating, but he's the only one of the two making substantive proposals right now. Kerry is making pie-in-the-sky statements followed by military experience rhetoric. I don't care about either of their miliatary experiences, but I sure as hell am not going to vote someone into the highest office in the US based solely upon their continual banter about Vietnam and their continued avoidance of their own experience and voting record.

I think that the Democratic party made a big mistake annointing Kerry as the Golden Child. They would have been better served with someone that could run soundly on their record and their knowledge. The people are ready for Bush to hit the road, but they aren't easily going to give that power to someone who's credibility continues to diminish. If they had tapped into a more moderate JFK/Clinon-type Democrat, this thing would have been a blowout. Hell, they might have been able to pull the more moderate conservatives/Libertarians like me to their side. But, alas, the Democratic party has been overun w/ extremists and socialists.....too bad.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/10/04 10:45 PM

A bit off topic, but I was wondering where you guys were hosting your pictures that you are using for your icons.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/11/04 12:54 AM

http://photobucket.com/

Some folks, myself included, use this place.

Are you going to put up a pic of that little one?
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/11/04 12:59 AM

I'd just like to point out how it's *ok* for Moore to have his movie from his "point of view" yet the DMC is threating to lawsuit tv stations that run the Swiftboat add.

Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/11/04 07:58 AM

Thanks for the link. Yes, I've been viewing everyone's pictures with envy. So, I thought I'd get a picture of my little cutie up there to provide proof that an ugly guy can indeed produce a beautiful baby.

That thing about the DNC threatening stations is amazing stuff. It appears that they love free speech, except when it's used for something that they dislike. The truth of the matter is that they are scared, and justifiably so. Regardless of whether you believe what these guys have to say, there is now an issue out there directly questioning Kerry's credibility and truthfullness. If I were them, I would probably be equally panicked. If this doesn't go away, it's going to poison his campaign.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/11/04 08:07 AM

Not that I agree that this is ok, but the difference here is that Moore's medium was a movie that people pay to go see, as opposed to something that is being broadcast to everyone's home to be seen as part of their normal viewing.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/11/04 04:18 PM

I agree. There's a big distinction between an ad run as part of a political campaign and a movie one voluntarily pays to see.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/11/04 07:46 PM

Zarak, Pmbuko... You are totally right, of course. This is America, and people will be forced to see the "swift" ad since they cannot turn off their TV's or change the channel. Television is a plot by the Republican Party to force people to watch against his/her free will. And the $4,000,000 spent to advertise Mr. Moore's "documentry" on TV, Radio, Newspaper and on computer pop-ups IS free speech, where the "swift" $500,000 is against our constitutionally protected freedom against having to view commercials with which we disagree.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/11/04 08:26 PM

By the way, my last post WAS intended as humorous sarcasm... as an avowed Libertarian, I think all political speech is OK, and would have precisely ONE rule for campaign finance reform. That would be 100 % disclosure. You could give ALL you wanted to any candidate, but EACH candidate would have to list EACH donor, and amount. That way we people could decide what WE think about Candidate "A" getting $1 million from the NRA, and Candidate "B" getting $1 million from GreenPeace ... rebuttals welcomed ...
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/11/04 09:30 PM

Lib's have some really great ideas, yet they scare me at the same time.

In reply to:


I agree. There's a big distinction between an ad run as part of a political campaign and a movie one voluntarily pays to see.




Oh how I knew that would be the response.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/12/04 12:59 PM

I wonder why discussions of Moore's film got such huge air time on all the mainstream news outlets, yet the swiftboat fellas ad is getting very little discussion. The only discussion about the ad seems to revolve around the ads funding and the backgrounds of the guys who slam Kerry. Nobody seems interested in examining the truthfulness of their claims - only in discrediting the source.

The media definitely leans left in this country - especially this year, it seems. How about that recent CNN "poll"? They asked, "Does this feel like an economic recovery to you?" Hilarious.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/12/04 01:38 PM

That was my point exactly. I fully understand them digging into who is supporting them, etc. That is standard practice. However, is it not the job of the media to present all sides and let the public decide? They'll plaster the different misrepresentations made by Moore all over the place, but won't even give two minutes to present a clear picture of what these guys are all about. It's pathetic!
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/12/04 01:41 PM

I didn't think a link would work so I pasted the latest odds on the election below. Seems like the odds makers still favor W.

"place your bets
2004 Presidential Race
Nov 02, 2004 07:00 pm ET



Select A Bet TypeFuture Wager Select A Bet Type OptionFuture Wager
Enter Amount: $ Select Bet(s) Below


George W Bush 5-6


John Kerry 1-1"


Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/12/04 02:50 PM

This is kind of funny.....

Dancing With Fairies
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/12/04 06:58 PM

Not as funny as this
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/12/04 11:27 PM

Dude....that's funny as hell! The best part is clicking the random image button.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/13/04 02:08 PM

That was fun. Give him bad hair and a moustache and he looks like Hitler. Make him bald and give him drunk eyes and he looks like me.
Posted by: abuabdallah

Arrest of Osman Bakhash from the Media Office of H - 08/13/04 04:44 PM

The Media Office of Hizb ut-Tahrir [Arabic for Islamic Liberation Party] in Lebanon

In the name of Allah the most merciful,

"Allah has promised those among you who believes, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah.) (Sura 24:55)


Press Release

Arrest of Osman Bakhash from the Media Office of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Lebanon

State Officers, dressed up as civilians, have broke into Mr. Osman Bakhash's Office in the Makassed Hospital where he works, and arrested him and taken him into an unkown location. This came after the broadcast of Hizb ut-Tahir's activities in Lebanon on LBC TV [ Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation] on Wednesday Night. The broadcast included an interview with Engineer Osman Bakhash, form the Media Office, in which he answered questions that were posed to him. His arrest comes after the arrest of Ali Aslan And Waseem Shaa'rani during the past 10 days, on the accusation of membership with "Hizb ut-Tahrir". These arrests are an indication that we are living in a Police State, that closes people's mouths, and replies to arguments and reason with Fire and Steel.

This campaign of arrests and continuous chasing of Hizb ut-Tahrir members has no valid argument in the laws for which the Lebanese state claims to apply and look upon.

It is of our interest to reveal that what the State Officers are doing under the instructions of the concerned authorities, will not stop the struggle, path, and call of Hizb ut-Tahrir; neither will it change its method, which is calling to Islam through argument and reason, even though this call was to be faced by the policy of imprisonement, which is an indication of the bankrupcy of the people in charge of this state, and their failure to resort to the usual means of persuasion.

Some websites in english:
http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.org
http://www.khilafah.com
http://www.1924.org
http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.info [choose english]
http://www.alokab.com/forums [bottom]
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Arrest of Osman Bakhash from the Media Office - 08/13/04 05:57 PM

OK, I realize this is an off-topic thread, but your post is out of line. It contains no opinion of your own, and appears to be a non seqiutir "threadjack" about some recent event in Lebanon.

I don't want to discourage your participation here, but please at least preface the post with your own words and tell us why you think it's important that we know this stuff.

Right now, it looks like you're spamming.

P.S. religious quotes of any kind are frowned upon here. There's enough for us to disagree about here without bringing religion into it.
Posted by: ringmir

Re: Arrest of Osman Bakhash from the Media Office - 08/13/04 06:46 PM

did you notice his post was in reply to my very first post in this thread? I think he is most certainly post-spamming.
Posted by: BBIBH

Re: Arrest of Osman Bakhash from the Media Office - 08/13/04 07:21 PM

Have a look at his profile......

I would definitely suggest that you and Peter are correct in that there was an agenda on his mind when this was posted.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Arrest of Osman Bakhash from the Media Office of H - 08/13/04 09:24 PM

Yes, Abduabdallah, very merciful, very righteous good deeds. Nigeria is struggling with what amounts to a civil war between those who insist on imposing Sharia law on non-Muslims, in Nigerian state civil society. As reported in "This Day," a Lagos newspaper:

Sharia: 6 Await Amputation
This Day (Lagos)

August 12, 2004

Agaju Madugba
Kaduna, Kaduna

Six persons are awaiting amputation of their hands in Zaria, having been convicted by an upper sharia court in Tudun Wada, Zaria, Kaduna State.

President of Civil Rights Congress (CRC), Malam Shehu Sanni, who disclosed this in Kaduna yesterday said the convicts had been detained at the Zaria Prisons for one year, after conviction.

According to Sanni, "the convicts were tried and sentenced in one day.

"The convicts revealed that they were not given the right and opportunity to engage the services of legal counsels and were deceived by the prosecution counsel to plead guilty so as to be gven reprieve.

"They have for over one year, remained in Zaria Prisons, a period long enough for them to have served prison terms.

"In a country with glaring evidence of persuasive corruption and impunity at all tiers of government, it is morally unjustifiable to amputate the hands of these impoverished people for petty theft, in the name of puritanism.

"We challenge state governments implementing sharia legal code, especially in the north, to come out with purposeful and meaningful projects and policies that will free our people from abject poverty and misery, Sharia law is not practicable or enforceable in a society deeply stagnated in shackles of penury and soulless poverty," he said.

Sanni said the CRC and other civil society groups in the north were set to challenge the judgment of the upper sharia court.

As he puts it, "we will not in any way condone violation of fundamental and constitutional rights of citizens or the sanctioning of the poor through repressive kangaroo trials which negate the basic principles and ethics of fairness, objectivity and justice."



Posted by: BigWill

Re: that crackpot guy - 08/13/04 11:45 PM

Don't get your feathers too ruffled 2x6, I think they're right about that guy. I spent about 15 minutes looking at his links and trying to figure out what the hell he wanted to say. I determined he must be the leader of ringmir's cell, sending him some encoded operational instructions.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: that crackpot guy - 08/13/04 11:48 PM

Great.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/14/04 04:44 AM

Speaking of funny, I bring you this little music video.

(.mp4 file format, requires QuickTime 6)
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 08/14/04 08:11 AM

These guys are really starting to piss me off. Blow up buildings, fine. Shoot at our soldiers, fine. Start messing with out HT forums, and I'm gonna have to get my butt on a plane and head off to the middle east. I'll just have to take care of these radical Islamic fellows all by myself. They haven't had to deal with a pissed off speaker forum member yet. Their days are numbered. If they don't watch themselves, I may just wait until the little lady's "time" is here and send her over there. They really don't want to have to deal with a pissed off speaker forum member's girlfriend when she has PMS.

BTW - You terrorist types fight like 1 armed, 5 year old girls. Come on out and fight like men. Does "Jihad" mean fight like a wimp? We'll fight you head on, whenever, wherever you want. I'm not even in the military, and I'll rumble. Hear me now Abdul, it's not IF we are going to hunt you down and kill you guys, it's WHEN and HOW are we going to do it. 911 was IT. That is the biggest one you wll EVER get away with. Do something bigger, and we'll be able to use your back yard to bottle beer. Bring it on assholes. We've had it with you guys.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/15/04 01:18 AM

Michael A ... Amen Brother !
Posted by: Sutter Cane

Re: OT: politics - 08/15/04 01:58 AM

"These guys are really starting to piss me off. Blow up buildings, fine. Shoot at our soldiers, fine. Start messing with out HT forums, and I'm gonna have to get my butt on a plane and head off to the middle east. I'll just have to take care of these radical Islamic fellows all by myself. They haven't had to deal with a pissed off speaker forum member yet. Their days are numbered. If they don't watch themselves, I may just wait until the little lady's "time" is here and send her over there. They really don't want to have to deal with a pissed off speaker forum member's girlfriend when she has PMS.

BTW - You terrorist types fight like 1 armed, 5 year old girls. Come on out and fight like men. Does "Jihad" mean fight like a wimp? We'll fight you head on, whenever, wherever you want. I'm not even in the military, and I'll rumble. Hear me now Abdul, it's not IF we are going to hunt you down and kill you guys, it's WHEN and HOW are we going to do it. 911 was IT. That is the biggest one you wll EVER get away with. Do something bigger, and we'll be able to use your back yard to bottle beer. Bring it on assholes. We've had it with you guys. "

M-


Alright Michael!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's the good ol' american spirit we love to see, hear, and feel. Damn I'm proud of ya buddy! lol

I was in the military at one point in time, we'll talk about that some time. I've got some stories to share believe me.

I'll defiantly have to second what CraigSub said, Amen brother, Amen!




Sutter Cane


Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/15/04 11:38 PM

I am by no means supporting what the enemy is doing over there, but of course they aren't fighting us head on...would you want to if you were outmanned and outarmed? We didn't fight the British head on during the revolutionary war either...we would have been slaughtered.

The rest of it, I agree with though...enough is enough. Let's hunt them down and finish em off!
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/16/04 12:52 AM

OK, back on track...

...some good ol truth about Johnny




www.scaryjohnkerry.com/vietnam.htm

Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 08/16/04 03:05 AM

Boy, what a marvelously unbiased, clear and rational ad that is, not at all stooping to cheap insinuations or petty jabs.


I'm really sick of these types of political slander ads - it doesn't matter what side they come from.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 08/16/04 03:08 AM

Here's a nice link on that same topic

www.notsoswiftvets.com

Of particular interest are a list of quotes about halfway down the page from some of these swiftboat vets. Looks like they're...(gasp!)...flip-flopping!


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/16/04 12:15 PM

Adam, that page doesn't do a whole lot to counter the charges on the other page.

The one INANE linked seems a little over-the-top, but that is the kind of crap the TV news keeps showing everybody regarding Bush. Kerry hasn't had to amount any attack ads because the Hollywood and the media have been doing it for him for the past year (Bush's negative ads have focussed solely on Kerry's voting record in the Senate, from what I have heard).

If you agree with his politics - vote for him. If you don't agree with his politics - then don't vote for him. Unfortunately, the American people are not being informed about Kerry's politics, only his heroism and Bush's "failings".
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/16/04 06:50 PM

If the allegations discussed in this article are true, then people in Florida need to start raising hell.

Intimidating and misleading would-be voters is something our government sponsors in OTHER countries, not our own, right?
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/16/04 08:05 PM

Sorry, I was going to read the first one until I saw the words "Op-Ed" and "New York Times". No point in getting myself ticked off by drivel.
OT: I can't stop buying sh!t off eBay!
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 01:16 AM

In reply to:


The one INANE linked seems a little over-the-top, but that is the kind of crap the TV news keeps showing everybody regarding Bush. Kerry hasn't had to amount any attack ads because the Hollywood and the media have been doing it for him for the past year (Bush's negative ads have focussed solely on Kerry's voting record in the Senate, from what I have heard).

If you agree with his politics - vote for him. If you don't agree with his politics - then don't vote for him. Unfortunately, the American people are not being informed about Kerry's politics, only his heroism and Bush's "failings".




EXACTLY!

Plus the link I posted may have been over the top, but if you sit thru the entire thing, there are definitely truths to be seen there.

Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 01:18 AM

Be sure to read this after that NYTimes article, please.

Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 08:23 AM

All these links are starting to seem too much like homework that needs to be done in order to continue participating in the thread.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 09:34 AM

And the really silly thing is that each side can easily find printed confirmation of their views on the net, and elsewhere. "Oh yeah? read THIS." "Nonsense, read THIS." "No THIS." "Nah, HERE'S the truth." Ad nauseum.

I don't mean to criticize the thread. I'm quite proud (of it, and all of you) that it has gone on as long as it has and remained as civil (sorta) as it has. My point is, that it's not difficult to find printed support of any view. Doing so doesn't prove the point. It just means that somebody else thinks like you do.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 12:29 PM

Jack... I can say definitely that the Axiom forum has the MOST links per capita of any forum in audio ...
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 02:21 PM

In reply to:

starting to seem too much like homework



yes, i will have my term paper ready to turn in on friday.

i agree with ajax.. the links just end up being a mindless chain of letters and words to support ones ideas and beliefs. i am sure if i look hard enough, i can find some article about a clan of martians on earth who are plotting to take over the world? doesnt necessarily make it true.. bottom line.. read what you want, believe what you want. but i for one dont need ANY article to help me in the conformation of my own beliefs. i think what i think, and that is that!?!

this is in no way a slam on those who have posted links, i am just thinking and typing..

BTW- Bigwill, what you been buyin from EBAY??

bigjohn
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 03:34 PM

What's wrong with my links? Only morons don't like my links!
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 03:52 PM

OK, you got me.. i bit.. hook, line, and sinker!!

dont push me, or i will revive the goatse!!

JK/ lord make it go away!!

bigjohn
Posted by: BBIBH

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 04:32 PM

I must admit that the amount of information is overwhelming, and I have skipped quite a few links.

But, I feel we must remain open, within respects to be able to learn. BigJohn, at one point you needed the information to form your views, and an open mind is essential to keep growing. Oh, and about "enogh room on the dance floor for the women to get naked"....so that explains the New Baby thread!!! LOL

From a non US citizen, it has been somewhat interesting to learn about your government systems and the feelings of the people.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 04:55 PM

Yes, it's refreshing to realize that not all Americans fit the political stereotype that many foreigners apply to us, eh?
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 05:19 PM

BBIBH- where are you from??

it is kinda funny how americans are often categorized by foreigners, but most of us are not how we are perceived to be. its even more funny when you see americans making assumptions about people by what state they are from.. and even people from the same state will make assumptions about each other by what city they are from in that state. and then assumptions are made by what side of that city you live on... ? does it make sense.. NO..

but, in the end, we are all individuals and we all have the right to make our own decisions. that is a priviledge a lot of people in some countries dont have.

bigjohn
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 06:41 PM

And with all this said, it's time for another link.

This is one for highlight reels.

homepage.mac.com/njenson/movies/sovereignty.html
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 07:51 PM

We only make those state assumptions about people from Texas.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 07:55 PM

thats OK.. we do the same to ya'll!!!



bigjohn
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 08:02 PM

In reply to:

its even more funny when you see americans making assumptions about people by what state they are from.. and even people from the same state will make assumptions about each other by what city they are from in that state.


Yeah, exactly what is it that makes everyone from West Virginia date within their own family, anyway?

Is there a one tooth gene?
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 10:50 PM

I'm not one to tell you guys how to get your points across, but linking to someone else's opinion piece annoys me. I like to hear what YOU think about stuff (and your opinions are usually easier to refute ). Links to statistical info are better, but you know what Twain(?) said about stats.

bigjohn, I have bids in on some audio equpment, though I've been outbid on every piece so far. However, I have purchased a number of lidded German beer steins. They seem way undervalued to me. They keep your beer cold while imbibing outside and the lids keep the bugs out. Some of them are antiques, as well.
Posted by: BBIBH

Re: OT: politics - 08/17/04 11:57 PM

I am Canadian Bigjohn, from just outside Toronto - born and raised in the area. Outside of the US...you are a foreigners,and the preception varies. ( I actually view y'all as foreigners here, as the board is hosted by a Canadian company!!!) LOL

BigJohn and pmbucko - yes, it is refreshing to learn about different cultures - as close as our countries are, they are very different. Yes, it is also interesting to find that some of the stereotypes and such are not representative of the entire population. As part of my job, I travelled the US extensively, and found exactly what you referred to in terms of views about areas,cities and states. But that is pretty much around the world. As the view gets larger, the area under the scrutiny gets larger.

I must say that travelling in Europe and even as close as to Mexico, was an eye opener. When people thought I was a rich, tall blonde American, I got a certain level of treatment. But when they found out I was a Canadian, the treatment improved dramatically. I was given many reasons for this, but it always made me uncomfortable that I was preceived as bad, and suddenly I was good when I did nothing to change!!!!

I agree that it is a wonderful thing to be able to choose. It is a common misconception that choice is not allowed in all countries. This is true in some countries to be sure. Some of the most beautiful countries in the world are really no different than North America in that respect.

There are good and bad in all people, cultures, religions, countries that fact is without fail.
...but enough rambling......
Posted by: Thasp

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 03:51 AM

This is all I have to say for Kerry. The guy's running for president.. that's sad.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 04:44 AM

Ok, this whole flip-flop thing is completely ridiculous. People who DO NOT change their minds when new evidence (or complete lack thereof) comes to light are the ones you should worry about.

To paraphrease a famous Jewish carptenter: Let him who is without flip-flop cast the first stone.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 08:16 AM

...another 4 hours of sleep night w/ the baby. Man, this part of it sux. But, never enough exhaustion to visit my favorite thread.

PM...Man, please think long and hard about this flip-flop issue before you pass it off as partisan tactics.

Yes, true wisdom is the ability to absorb new information, reassess your position, and change it if the new information warrants. Any of us debating here will agree that a good sound argument based on fact is all it will take to bring us to reconsider our positions. Anything else is blind partisan faith....ignorance.

With this being said, I think that it's naive to place what Kerry continually does in this category. The man does not come upon new information and change his positions. To think that gives him too much credit. The man changes his positions on issues where he sees fit to meet his political needs. Yes, the maker of that film has a political agenda, but the words are Kerry's. Nothing has changed that much in relation to this issue to explain away the continual morphing of his position....except the political climate.

This is the problem with Kerry that everyone just wants to brush aside as partisan politics. That's the easy/ignorant way of handling this. What people should be doing is looking at the evidence and then considering what this says about the man running for office. What can be said about a man has no core positions?....a man who acts more like a power-hungry chamelion than a leader? Yes, Bush may be an idiot at times, but you at least know where he stands. Kerry has only one single position....all positions must be beneficial to my political career, no matter what. There's the real meat of the thing.....the Democratic Party is giving you a used car salesman for a candidate. He can paint his message in all colors pleasing to your eyes, but the car is still a POS.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 08:29 AM

Which is what makes this election a tough one. Bush can make decisions, but I don't like a lot of them, and Kerry just can't make them...sounds like the old rock and a hard place...
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 11:50 AM

You're right. I DO give Kerry more credit than he might deserve, but both sides are guilty of this. Just look at the last link Adam posted. But getting back to flip-flopping, if Kerry does continually change his position depending on what's most politically favorable at the moment, well, many people think it's politically favorable to get Bush out of the White House and feel this really is a "whatever it takes" kind of election.

If Kerry ends up being a lousy president, then I'll be criticizing him just as harshly as I do Bush. You can count on that.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 02:30 PM

Yes, the sentiment to remove Bush is thick out there. Hell, I've said before that I'd vote Bush out if the Dems had provided a more solid candidate.

What makes this rock and hard place situation even trickier is the particular juncture that we are at. These are EXTREMELY dangerous times to hand over control of this country to just anyone. Decisions made in the next four years can affect the security of the country and even the world. So far, John Kerry has not presented a cogent argument based upon his record in office as to why he is up to that task. So, my suggestion to all the Bush-haters is to be very careful with this decision. It isn't just your taxes that are on the line....it's your lives. Be very sure that you trust the person you vote for with that responsibility. Kerry loves to paint himself as a war-hero, but his voting record and consistency on issues do not necessarily suggest that he would be a good wartime president.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 03:56 PM

People who are against Bush don't believe he is making us safer. It's really as simple as that. The next question we have to ask ourselves is: Can Kerry do any worse?

If Kerry wins, he will be scrutinized just as much as Bush has been, if not more. One reason I'll be voting for him is that I believe his administration will be much more open with the American public. I'm willing ot cut him some slack until he gets into office, but after he's in, he won't be able to get away with anything.

I don't envy any man that job.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 04:05 PM

In reply to:

I don't envy any man that job



well, if you ever feel like running, i think you avatar might just do you in

actually, i am a big supporter of parents being the first person to introduce drinking to their children, no kidding.. i would rather it be me, than someone else. i was knockin back budweisers with my dad while working on cars when i was in the 4th-5th grade.

in fact, not to get off topic, i think thats whats wrong with the kids today.. a lack of parenting and teaching in the home. i want my kids to know what i know, and ask ME for advice, not some other snot nosed kid that dont know squat..

OK, ramble over.. back to the presidents... or lack there of.

bigjohn
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 05:59 PM

"If Kerry wins, he will be scrutinized just as much as Bush has been, if not more."

You are kidding, right? The media is giving Kerry a complete walk right now both on his war record and his voting record. Why in in the world would you think that this will change if he becomes President?
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 07:36 PM

"If Kerry wins, he will be scrutinized just as much as Bush has been, if not more. One reason I'll be voting for him is that I believe his administration will be much more open with the American public."

I agree with Turbodog's critique of the media favoring Kerry. Polls of journalists and media members have indicated that they, by a wide margin, favor Kerry.

How has the Bush administartion not been open (I'm assuming you are referring to the war in Iraq) with the American public? Journalists were embedded in practically every unit, there has been no shortage of briefings over there, nor has the media been censored.

One thing is for sure: a defensive posture focussed on educational efforts in the Arab world, coupled with a dependence on French public opinion regarding our own foreign policy, will result in a less safe world for America. We can see the fruits of 30 years of "do-nothing" policy clearly now.
Posted by: ericb

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 08:21 PM

'One thing is for sure: a defensive posture focussed on educational efforts in the Arab world, coupled with a dependence on French public opinion regarding our own foreign policy, will result in a less safe world for America. We can see the fruits of 30 years of "do-nothing" policy clearly now.'

That is an amazing amount of speculation and generalization wrapped into one statement. You must be trying to push someone's buttons. Or perhaps you're serious???
Posted by: ericb

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 08:33 PM

Because all presidents are scrutinized and critisized. It's part of the job description.

I realize that there are quite a few here who see the media as being in the pockets of the democrats, but I just don't see it that way. We live in a capitalistic society and the media is going to do anything it can to make a buck - schmooze the politicians when that is convenient and aggressively attack them when that is what will sell newspapers, magazines, TV airtime, web ads, whatever.

This is why, I believe, we see so much 'radicalization' of the airwaves in this country (check out any talk show on TV or radio). Extreme opinions sell and get people all fired up. And then they come back for more.

Myself, I can't stand all the accusations, rudeness, and attacks from both sides of the political spectrum, which is why I get most of my news from NPR and the BBC (of course, I'm one of those liberals from the northeast so those choices only make sense ).
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 10:08 PM

Merely summarizing the last 39 pages of argument.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/18/04 11:53 PM

In reply to:


If Kerry ends up being a lousy president, then I'll be criticizing him just as harshly as I do Bush. You can count on that.




I'm on record even a year ago saying I absolutely believe if Kerry wins he would go down in history as the worse President ever.

The man just has ZERO character ZERO backbone ZERO vision. Howard Dean is a retard IMO but at least that man has those 3 qualities that Kerry lacks.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 01:27 AM

I'm curious where you would rank Bush on the spectrum of U.S. Presidents.

Dislaimer: the link is biased, but dies give a good summary of some of America's best Presidents and their views.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 02:42 AM

In reply to:

I'm on record even a year ago saying I absolutely believe if Kerry wins he would go down in history as the worse President ever.




And there are many who believe that Bush will go down as one of the worst Presidents ever.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 01:30 PM

Bush won't go down in history as the worst ever - there are too many complete failures (like Grant, John Adams, Carter) for him to be classified as such.

How about Kerry? Look at the news yesterday and today. Bush announces planned troop withdrawls (and eventual base closures?) in Europe. Kerry blasts him on this in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars despite having said last month that he was for scaling down overseas military deployments.
Why the flip-flop? Kerry's campaign manager called it "new thinking"!
More likely he sees an opportunity to curry favor with the Europeans (who - despite their loathing for Americans and their opposition to our foreign policy and ideology - really love the influx of cash that our military bases bring), a chance to paint himself as pro-military at the last minute (that is absurd given his voting record in the Senate and his rhetoric after the Vietnam War), and continue his anti-Bush attacks on all fronts.

I don't think there is much need to worry, though. Looks like Bush will get re-elected, IMO.

Posted by: les9596

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 05:08 PM

In reply to:

...absurd given his voting record...



Not absurd at all. The fact that Kerry, who's record is generally pacifist and anti-military, is trying to run on his war record shows how vital his team thinks that is to his success.

I live in Washington (state of) and am represented by Senator Patty Murray, the "mom in tennis shoes" candidate who's voting record has also generally been anti-war and anti-military. She voted against both the Iraq war authorization and the later 80b war appropriations bill. Yet just the other day I saw a campaign commercial for her that touted her recent pro-military work and votes without ever saying she supported the war. Why would she do that?

This beautiful land also produced Seattle Congressman "Bagdad" Jim McDermott, who famously went to Bagdad just before the war to meet with Saddam and pre-denounce the coming invasion. He also took Saddam's money (which he later returned.) His reelection website still trumpets his anti-war position, but no longer mentions his trip. It made sense when he did it, but it wouldn't go over very well these days, would it?

I think these politicians, as smart and informed as they are, and as separated from the body politic as they are, have seen something. I think they've seen America changing right in front of their eyes.

Americans are beginning to realize that, suprise, we actually are at war, even though it's a new trans-national, slow-motion, hurry up and wait kind of war. And suprise again, a war most Americans believe was forced upon us by an enemy that seeks our destruction, not our attention. A war where, painfully, some of our "allies" have shown us their backsides. And obviously, a war we can lose. Who wouldn't get serious about that? To me, if a candidate isn't talking about the war, they've got nothing to say.

So this year voters have a job to do, maybe their most important job in 140 years, the results of which will undoubtedly affect the entire world for a long time to come. That frightens a lot of people, but not me. I look forward to it. I trust the American people.

Who do you trust?
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 05:27 PM

In reply to:

Who do you trust?



not george w.. !!!

but you make some very valid points. there seems to be alot of 'flip-flopping' going on from both sides regarding the war. its just gonna be a whirlwind ride right down to nov 2nd.

may the least worse candidate win!!

bigjohn
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 07:01 PM

bigjohn... a couple of questions for you.

1. Where has GW Bush "flip-flopped?"
2. What would John Kerry do regarding Iraq that is different than current policy?

Please be specific... this is an interesting topic...
Posted by: md55

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 08:11 PM

I can't point to Bush flip-flops. On the other hand I don't consider consistency on an erroneous course as particularly desirable. Each time a decision is made, aren't there many other factors to consider beyond consistency with what was decided before? Nor do I consider it flip-flopping to consider nuances as situations develop. So I don't see either of these qualities definitive of either Bush or Kerry as either good or bad.

I find it very difficult to wade through all the media hype and political manipulation to really know what either candidate is really capable of.

As to the question of what Kerry might do differently: I just returned from a trip to Sweden and Norway. What I heard there is that 90-95% of Europeans do not support Bush’s policies. One of the people I spoke to was a Swedish professor of Political Science who does support Bush so I think his information was probably accurate. Interesting also was that in countries like these, and I’m sure in most others, what happens in the U.S. has enormous consequences. They follow the U.S. stock market on a daily basis, maybe more closely than we do. We are truly the giant on the block and what is good for us is generally perceived as what is good for them as well. Interesting also, was how universally English was spoken. One German speaking Swede told me that now, when he does business in Germany it is more common to do it in English.

So one thing Kerry may be able to do differently is to re-establish support from Europe to take some of the burden from the U.S. financially and militarily. I think the fact is that Bush has taken the great sympathy for the U.S. after 911, and turned it to antipathy in much of the world.

For me, one of the most disturbing things the Bush administration has done is the attempt at abrogation of all legal process in taking prisoners, attempting to hold them indefinitely outside the jurisdiction of any legal body, and denying them any process to assert their guilt or innocence or as being entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions. To me this is conduct for which losers are tried for war crimes and the victors get away with because no one has the power to condemn them. Is this how we bring democracy to the world? What does it cost us to act as civilized people and allow each accused to assert the facts as to their conduct? A little flip-flopping here rather than waiting for the Supreme Court to rebuke you would be quite desirable in my opinion.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 09:06 PM

"So one thing Kerry may be able to do differently is to re-establish support from Europe to take some of the burden from the U.S. financially and militarily. I think the fact is that Bush has taken the great sympathy for the U.S. after 911, and turned it to antipathy in much of the world."

Howdy, md55. Welcome home.
You make some good points, but the above paragraph I will choose to take exception with.
European countries will not pick up the banner in Iraq if Kerry wins the election. NATO is irrelevant now that the Russians have joined it - they were the reason NATO was created in the first place. As the EU progresses the US will become less important to Europe in every way, IMO.

European countries are not as militarily capable as we are, even when their interests do happen to coincide with our own. Neither is it easy to get the military units from different countries to operate together as one - especially if there are language differences involved. And when accidents happen, it harms relations betwen those countries.

And, after 9-11 there was some real sympathy directed towards the US, but by the time the Winter Olympics rolled around the following year - it was gone.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 09:07 PM

So... He is bad for and for not flip-flopping... got it. Let us take a look at another scenario. The 17th UN Resolution is passed. Four months go by, and we have this large military because we made the mistake that the UN was actually SERIOUS this time. We now leave 135,000 troops in the middle east waiting for... what... the French, Russian and Germans to actually admit they make too much money from The old Iraq regime to ever support this effort ?

Can you imagine the cries were this to have occured... I know it is now considered Passe' to discuss the torture rooms under Hussein. I have talked to people who saw these rooms... (I have several family and friends in the military) ... And roughly 100,000 people per year were either raped, tortured, or killed.... We are about 16 months since the start of the war... Or about 133,000 people spared that. The calls for The current President's head for NOT stopping these atrocities would be quite loud. And yes, Had Al Gore been president, and being pummeled for believing what every other politician believed, I would be asking the same things.

Is it pretty ? No.

Does a lot of Europe support us ? No.

Should we govern according to Europe's desires ? Well, In 1946, 70% of the French said they were better off under Hitler than under freedom.

MD... You call it an erroneous course. I have tried to find this... Can you point out any Democratic Politicians that were saying "NO WMD's Exist" before January, 1, 2003 ?
Posted by: md55

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 09:47 PM

Bigwill, first a clarifcation: Russia is not a member of NATO NATO countries.

But, I wasn't speaking of NATO but of a larger coalition of the willing to help Iraq to a better life. Why do you think it is that so few in Europe support what we are doing?


Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 10:01 PM

md... I will try to answer that, too... in 1983, the vast majority of Europe was terrified of the Pershing Missiles... Many thought the US was intent on starting WWIII ... Reagan challenged Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall in 1986, when it fell in 1989, how many Europeans gave Reagan any credit for helping to free Eastern Europe? The intellectuals pounded Reagan for years... "Communism works" ... "Reagan is unrealistic to expect a free Eastern Europe" ... "The people of the Warsaw Pact do not WANT Freedom" ... the list goes on.

The same arguments are made today... Iraq has its own government, and a real chance for freedom. Yet we don't celebrate it... Again, There are problems, and hopefully we will stay the course and assist the wonderful people of Iraq to total self-governance...

And watch... IF this works, 10 years from now, The French will take much credit for it...


Posted by: md55

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 10:21 PM

Craig, sorry I didn't notice your question post was directed to Bigjohn. I'm not sure what your second post was in response to. I don't see any posts about WMD or the build up to the Iraq war and waiting for Europe to join the liberation effort.

My concern is getting the job done with as few killed and mamed as possible, and with reducing the deficit spending to get it done. Why do you think 90% of Europe and perhaps much of the rest of the world does not support the U.S. in its efforts?

Do you think it served any real purpose to hold hundreds of people in a prison camp contending it is outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. legal processes, or that of any other nation or body? Is this morally defensible? Does this help make the U.S. safer? Have you seen Mr. Bush admit and correct many, or any, mistakes? Is that because he would be a flip-flopper as he labels Kerry?

You asked what Kerry might do differently. I suggested one thing that might help--improving relations with other countries that might help carry the burden and change perceptions in the world that it is just U.S. imperialism at work. I think that perception, right or wrong, makes us less secure, tending to breed terrorists. It doesn't make Kerry the right man for the job, but maybe it is something the guy in the job should work harder at. What do you think?


Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 10:27 PM

Here is a quote... Kudos to anyone who guesses from where this quote came. "All of our efforts in the past few weeks were intended to give peace a chance, that is for Iraq to disarm peacefully (the "disarming" referring to the stipulation that Iraq was to eliminate all WMD's and any missiles with a range of 150 KM or more)..... If Iraq wishes to avoid confrontation, it must understand that the opportunity it has been given is the last."

Anyone care to guess who said it, and when it was said ?


Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 10:45 PM

md, Two other presidents also worked for 12 years with every country on Earth to try to solve the problem. Hussein was never going to allow "his" property to be taken. He viewed Iraq as his... and completely his.

As for the holding of terrorists in prison ... they are not US citizens, therefore are not entitled to constitutional protection. In order to get protections afforded by the Geneva Convention, all they need to do is state which country they are fighting for, and give rank and serial number. I have a business partner who is an ex green beret... served in the original Gulf War... and speaks often with guys still there. That is how the Geneva convention works.

By the way, it is not 90% of Europe... it is the majority... true. But people talk about how we should worry about Europe... 90 days AFTER 9/11, 33% of Germans thought we DESERVED to be attacked. Many are taught hatred in Europe today.

Have I seen Bush take responsibility ? YES ... HE DID say they were mistaken in their belief that the WMD's would be found quickly.

You have a desire to see as few maimed/killed as possible.. well... at the risk of sounding obtuse... who WANTS more dead ?

By the way...The following European countries WERE Allied with us in the war... United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Netherlands, Iceland, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Albania, Romania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, and the Ukraine. That is 22 countries, plus another 27 countries around the world.

This list includes Nicaragua and Angola... both sworn enemies of ours 20 years ago.




Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 10:56 PM

I stand corrected, they didn't let Russia into NATO...yet.

Y'all continue.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 10:57 PM

Russia is not in yet... however... I am drinking some Stoli right now... I may have to petition for their acceptance...
Posted by: md55

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 11:23 PM

Craig, I'm not finding an answer here as to why so many Europeans don't support Mr. Bush's policies now.

Its easy to bash the French about all this. Have you ever looked at how much terrorism the French have had to deal with, the problems with the huge impoverished Muslim minority their colonialism has brought them, or how good the French are at dealing with terrorists? How is the French position on the war benefiting them financially now?

What about the rest of Europe? How were the Swedes and Norwegians benefiting? I don’t have the answers, I would liked to have been able to ask more questions when I was there.

One difference I see is that being citizens of small countries with divergent interests, the Europeans are more accustomed to dealing with different views, interests and circumstances. I was surprised by the differences between just Sweden and Norway, seemingly similar countries with populations smaller than many U.S. counties.

I one of those who has never fully credited the arm's buildup and confrontation during the 80's with the collapse of the soviet block. I believe that the core belief we held, that totalitarian communism was fundamentally unsound and unsustainable was correct. In 1987 I read Gorbachev's book Perestroika. He identified several failings of their system and the need for reform. The one that stands out in my mind was the need for spiritual/creative freedom for the then soviet societies to thrive. I thought at the time that Gorbachev was a sincere reformer who saw some of the real failings of the soviet system and was determined to change them. Was I wrong? It used to scare the hell of people when I told them that was what I got from the book. People were terrified to trust anything a commie said. But look what happened, have you looked fully at the role Gorby played at the time? Must it be only one cause that brings a result?

Why do we have to bash people so much who don’t agree with us? I really dislike the polarized political climate that exists in the U.S. today. All over the media now is the effort to smear the hell out of Kerry on the one hand with the same going on about Bush on the other. Little of it has anything to do with effective leadership, or the real issues that confront us. Right now I feel this election is going to be decided on largely irrelevant rubbish.

I think your questions are interesting if we are looking for real answers. If we are just trying to persuade each other to our beliefs they become less so.

Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 11:38 PM

MD - Europeans have rarely supported US policy. Ever. But the myth that we went this war alone is that... myth.

What I tried to point out was examples of Europe not agreeing with us. They never do.

As for Gorby... When did I say Reagan won it with an Arms build up ? ... That did make the Soviets realize we were not going to roll over, and lest you forget, Gorby's predecessors WERE devoted to world communism. Reagan's strength DID help a guy like Gorby succeed.

And I read "Fall of the Russian Empire" in 1977 ... It foretold of the Russian people ridding themselves of communism due to desire for freedom...

The French position on the situation in Iraq has changed dramatically... now that the war is won, they ARE hoping to cash in on reconstruction.

Am I going to try to convince you? No... I have tried to answer every question you ask. You are not interested in reciprocating... not a problem. Just remember... no country does more for other nations than do we... especially in the private sector... and be proud you are American...
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/19/04 11:55 PM

MD... One other minor tidbit... I spend a considerable amount of time in Toronto, and meet people from all over Europe and Asia... I can tell you that they are fed a daily dose of absolute lies abour US intent... perhaps someday over drinks... we can chat more...

On my last trip, when I asked if Iraq would be better off if we put Hussein back into power... the responses and attitudes of those I talked to changed in a hurry ...

When we meet people from other countries... we are Ambassadors... if they say we are terrible, and we let it go unchallenged, we are giving tacit approval.

So... Can you tell US why the disagree so vehemently with us?
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/20/04 01:27 AM

I for one frankly don't give a *expletive* about what rest of the world thinks. It's what Craig said, the world never approves of what we do, yet we do more for rest of the world than any other country, ever! I am so damn proud to be an American, yet that would offend some Euro. I'm just so happy Tony Blair has balls, because I wonder if any other Euro leader does.

Furthermore, I really hope that investigation at the U.N. gets at least a preliminary report out before the election so everyone can see just how pathetic that institution is. Also so it will explain the REAL reason France, Germany and Russia didn't *support* us removing Saddam

Furthermore, I really hope that investigationg at the U.N. gets at least a pelimenary report out before the election so everyone can see just how pathetic that institution is. Also so it will explain the REAL reason France, Germany and Russia didn't *support* us removing Saddam
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/20/04 12:08 PM

I'll second INANE's disdain for European public opinion. Who cares?

Gorbachev let loose some small reforms, sent signals to their republics and puppet states that reforms would not be frowned upon by Moscow, and the thing snowballed out of control. Why did the empire crumble from within? Because it was illegitimate and did not have the emotional support of the people it governed. Same deal in Iraq. We drove some tanks around Baghdad and the people came out in droves to get rid of their illegitimate oppressors. How anyone can call a war that ends like that "wrong" is beyond me.

The enemies of America, democracy and capitalism wish to destroy the American people's support for their own gov't - so that we might crumble from within, too. The agents of this attack are primarily liberal professors, celebrities and media members whose power of speech outweighs that of the rest of us. With large numbers of people distrustful of their own gov't, ashamed of their history and tradition, wrought with an inferiority complex over "European intellectualism", paralyzed by a relativist view of the world, etc... the stage would be set for big changes in American gov't. Call me paranoid, but that's the way I see it.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/20/04 01:08 PM

BigWill, you're paranoid. In fact, you remind me a bit of Joseph McCarthy.

Ahhh! They're everywhere!



(frog blast the vent core!)
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/20/04 02:23 PM

I may be paranoid, but that doesn't change the facts.

Let me preface this with the statement that I don't think md55 is a communist. But, I am going to use a couple of statements from his above post to indicate how Marxist thinking has become dominant in Europe (perhaps one of the reasons why many people in Europe have been swayed by their media to dislike US policy/Bush) and also increasingly affects the US political climate.

"...the problems with the huge impoverished Muslim minority their colonialism has brought them."

Imperialist agressors. Exploiters of the poor and the 3rd World. Rigid class divisions based on wealth and race. Pure Marx.

"I believe that the core belief we held, that totalitarian communism was fundamentally unsound and unsustainable was correct."

True, true, but you seem to be making a distinction between "totalitarian communism" and some other form of communism. Do you believe, as Marxist scholars do, that "true communism" will still be achieved - not in backwards countries like Russia and China, but in industrialized countries like the US, Canada, France, or Britain?

Totalitarian communism is "...fundamentally unsound and unsustainable", but not wrong? Just in need of some tweaking?


Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/21/04 09:56 AM

Since noone answered my question, I guess I will now. This is a quote by <>, the French ambassador to the UN. It was made on November 8, 2002. The topic was the 17th and final UN resolution that Saddam Hussein had 30 days to completely comply with this last resolution, and IF he did not, then war WOULD be the final solution.

So... We went this alone..... ?

47 other countries joined us.
The French reneged on yet another agreement.

Posted by: md55

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 10:37 AM

Bigwill, wow, a lot gets read into simple phrases. I simply referred to happened to European colonial powers. They ended up reciprocating with their colonies by giving the residents of the colonies rights to settle in the home countries. http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Islam_in_France
The French have been dealing with fairly large scale social and economic issues stemming from these circumstances. Consequently France has had a lot of experience with terrorism. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,176139,00.html

Totalitarian Communism: Totalitarianism http://www.bartleby.com/65/to/totalita.html and Communism http://www.bartleby.com/65/co/communism.html. Though they have been combined in particularly nasty ways in most of the examples we have seen. I think it is worth understanding the nature of political and economic systems both separately and together. So I refer to both together when they were both part of the sickness of a society.

In California by democratic action, we have common ownership (communism) of the beaches up to the mean high tide line. In Oregon, Texas and Hawaii beaches are public to the first line of vegetation. Have you ever tried to walk on the beach where "capitalists" have control, with barricades down into the water every few yards? Things are rarely entirely black or white in my experience so I like to make finer distinctions.

Are you a dialectic reactinary? dialectics

Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 10:54 AM

MD... It is nice to know that publicly owned areas are a form of communism. Next year, We get to visit the "People's Republic of Yellowstone Park" ...

Teddy Roosevelt would be SO proud...
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 11:00 AM

MD - I also put the French Ambassador's quote from November 8, 2002 at the UN on the FINAL resolution. You aksed a good question. "Why do the French NOT support our position and the War in Iraq?". They DID support us publicly. Then they backed out later. We waited 4 months after the 30 day ultimatum was passed by the UN.

Unfortunately for the French people, They have a government with no courage.


Posted by: Stimpy1

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 11:37 AM

Why did the French back out? I'm sure there are a number of reasons no one will ever know.

#1 reason IMO was the "Oil for Food" behind the scenes dealing with Irag and the French government. Seems France and Russia among others did not honor the UN embargo on Iraq and were lining Saddam's pockets and their own with Billions of dollars. They didn't want the world to find out they were dirty. Food never got to the Iraqs and made both sides very rich.

Another reason is that France is very left leaning. Which is why they embrace the Kerry, Clinton and Kennedy's in our culture and hate Bush. Purely political.

The far left loaths war for any reason. Basically pacificts that think both sides are wrong and the issue can be worked out.

Another reason is the French have no military mite to speak of. They are a paper Tiger (much like Germany). You could probably name a half dozen or more 3rd world nations with more military power.

Anyway that how I see it anyway.

Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 12:04 PM

Now... for some humor regarding the French. In the movie Ocean's 11 ... When Elliott Gould is explaining to Brad Pitt and George Clooney how well guarded the Casinos they want to rob... Gould : "They have enough firepower to occupy Paris" ... then pauses and adds "Ok, bad example, but you get my point" ...

All things that are funny are funny because they are true...
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 02:08 PM

France and Russia, despite public announcements suggesting the contrary, are still building Iran's nuclear weapons production infrastructure. IAEC expects Iran to start producing nuclear weapons as soon as next year.

Here's a piece from "Iran Focus:"

"Girl, 16, hanged in public in Iran Fri. 20 Aug 2004
On Sunday, August 15, a 16-year-old girl in the town of Neka, northern Iran, was executed. Ateqeh Sahaleh was hanged in public on Simetry Street off Rah Ahan Street at the city center.
The sentence was issued by the head of Neka’s Justice Department and subsequently upheld by the mullahs’ Supreme Court and carried out with the approval of Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Shahroudi.
In her summary trial, the teenage victim did not have any lawyer and efforts by her family to recruit a lawyer was to no avail. Ateqeh personally defended herself. She told the religious judge, Haji Rezaii, that he should punish the main perpetrators of moral corruption not the victims.
The judge personally pursued Ateqeh’s death sentence, beyond all normal procedures and finally gained the approval of the Supreme Court. After her execution Rezai said her punishment was not execution but he had her executed for her “sharp tongue”."

As a lifelong liberal, I have to admit that multicultural and moral relativism breaks down as a philosophy in the face of evil. Tolerance of evil does not advance the liberal concept of "tolerance," it advances the cause of evil.

Yes, it may not be easy for liberals to admit, but there is evil in the world. Hannah Arendt was incorrect when she concluded "evil is banal." On the contrary, evil is malignant, active and is at war with us. Yes, friends, we may not be perfect, but remember who spilled into the streets to celebrate when the twin towers came down.

France made a historic and strategic decision under DeGaulle, to align with the Arab block in the UN, attempt to steer a European policy adverse to that of the US. That policy included open immigration from Muslim countries, an about face regarding France's historic support for tiny Israel's contest with its implacable neighbors for its existence, withdrawal from the NATO military structure, and constant adversity to US foreign policy.

Chirac gave a nice sword to Sadam Hussein. I wonder if Hussein took anyone's head with that sword.

Though a lifelong democrat, I was glad, on 9/11 that my guy lost. I felt much more comfortable with an ass kicking cowboy in the White House, someone who sees the world in terms of good and evil, than Gore who would still be discussing our response to 9/11 with the French and Russians and asking the national alter egos of Al Qaeda what we could do to make them less angry at us.

I have a neighbor who ran over to me immediately after the World Trade Center towers came down and asked me whether I agreed with her that building tall buildings was an arrogant insult to "people in that part of the world?"

So, maybe we should just abandon our friends, conform our foreign policy to the demands of the Mullahs, curb our arrogance and build nothing taller than 2 story mud huts, and convert, then maybe we won't earn the understandable hatred of so many.


Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 03:35 PM

2x6 , In addition, In order for this hatred to stop, everyone here will have to give up his Axioms...

NOW maybe people will understand what a life and death struggle this is..

Seriously though, the terrorists do not want to co-exist. They don't want to understand us. They want to kill us. Period.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 05:16 PM

Maybe the answer isn't giving up our Axioms, but providing them with Axioms! If they got to hear their music with as much clarity and detail as we do, they'd have no reason to want to go out and fight anymore. They'd just sit in their homes amazed at how good music can sound
Posted by: Stimpy1

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 08:08 PM

Great post 2x6spds! Your showing real promise. For a liberal anyway

Remember the old saying: "If your under 30 and arn't a liberal, you haven't got a heart. If your over 30 and arn't a conservative, you haven't got a brain."

The older I get the more I find this to be true. There is evil in the world, as you stated, that dosen't want to co-exist. Their not misunderstood just bent on evil, pure and simple.

Again great post!
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 09:48 PM

Respectfully, Zarak, that's the problem. If you gave someone a nice Axiom set up, in Afghanistan under the Taliban, and if the folks used the system to listen to music, they'd get an escorted trip to the soccer stadium to have their ears removed. The problem is not one of poverty - though we're talking about a part of the world that is incredibly impoverished - a part of the world which makes nothing except the occasional carpet with slave child labor. The problem is a culture - an ethos - a belief system which is intolerant and violent. Just ask the neighbors - the Hindus, the Sikhs, the Christians, the Jews, and if you're a Shia Muslim ask the Sunis, and vice versa. The problem is a belief system not poverty. The 19 fellas who took over our airliners on 9/11 won the trust of the airport security, and the passengers who they convinced they were taking back to the airport. These 19 were not impoverished - they were educated, lived in Europe and America, may have been your neighbor, and were filled with hatred and a malignant murderous intent. They were not alone. I know you were joking, but a nice set of Axioms, a nice fridge and airconditioner, a nice car, are not going to do the trick.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 09:51 PM

That was some funny (and insightful) sh!t!

You weren't that funny in person. JK, LOL, etc...
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 10:16 PM

2x6, You are more than correct. A business partner of mine was in special forces for 7 years. He still is in contact with many friends still in the middle east... They do not value life, they do want us eradicated. Gone. DEAD !!

The example of the World Trade Center's height offending the Muslim world is just plain STUPID... The tallest HOTEL in Saudi Arabia is 900 FEET high... I could go on for hours about things learned... but this is a true war... against an enemy who KNOWS they violate the Geneva convention in every action...

What are they counting on for victory ?

1. Our Naivety.
2. Our Apathy.
3. Our basic belief that others cherish life as we do.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 10:39 PM

Yes, craigsub, and the tallest building in the world is in Kuala Lampur. Under Sharia, Christians may not build new churches and Jews no synogogues, and if any were taller than the local mosque, well, they had to come down. These symbols signify differently in our culture and their's. It would never, in a million years, occur to a westerner to bring down the Petronas Towers - but when the WTC Twin Towers came down there was an enormous celebration all over that part of the world - the only exception was Tehran, where a substantial crowd had the courage to hold a candle light vigil.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/22/04 11:26 PM

They also count on us dividing against each other as factions in our democracies compete for power. Not just here but in Israel and Europe as well.
They seem to be pretty damn good at using the media and other sources for dispensing propaganda - turning the freedom of speech and of the press against us (not advocating restrictions on those freedoms, just pointing it out ).

BTW, md55, I have been called a reactionary before (although I joined the Libertarian Party - couldn't find the "Reactionary Party" on the list at the polling place).

Are you a communist?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/bigwill/dco0139l.jpg
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 12:13 AM

Yes! Let's all collectively disengage our brains and unite behind whoever happens to be leading us at the moment -- this means Kerry, too, if he wins the election!

Surely blind unity is the answer to all our troubles.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 12:30 AM

PM ... You make a good point. Afterall, what did Unity behind a Democratic President do in WWII? ... oh yeah, total victory... we cannot have that going on now...
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 03:25 AM

Are you saying there are parallels between WWII and the current military situation in Iraq? If so, then you have a point. If not, then what exactly are you saying?

Unity behind a president who put our country into an existing war, (in no small part) as a result of a direct attack on our soil, is a no-brainer. Unity behind a president whose administration has misled and made mistake after uncorrected/unadmitted mistake is a little harder to justify, wouldn't you say?
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 07:11 AM

PM, I know people like you. There is no convincing, so we will leave it at rest. I could, however, write volumes about WWII, from Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki, which had errors. You get the benefit of looking back and criticizing. Leaders have to look into the future and do their best.

By the way. Germany did not attack us on 12/07/41 ... and had stated publicly for years they wanted peace with the US...
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 07:37 AM

I think Hitler would have been happy to have peace with us, until he controlled all of Europe and Russia that is. Then we would have been next on the list and would have had to fight him alone since the countries that ended up being allies would have been beaten or at least weakened a lot. Japan thought they were doing a good thing for their side in Pearl Harbor, but it backfired on them in the long run. Who knows how WWII would have turned out if Japan didn't attack us and we stayed in isolation for a couple of years longer.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 08:07 AM

Zarak, Of course, you are correct. Germany DID want to rule the world with Japan. I am also quite sure Hitler was FUMING when he heard about Pearl Harbor. On the other hand, I am sure Hirohito was pretty yanked about Germany invading Russia.

And PM, I am being somewhar tongue in cheek. But we WERE attacked, by people who want to wipe us off the face of the earth. I also personally know of 3 terrorist training grounds which were found in Iraq... one which was the body of a 747... and the accounts were quickly deleted from public view. Why? Most likely information control... you don't always let the other side know what YOU know...

And every war has mistakes... I asked this before, and was ignored. I will try again...

1. Have you read what the French wrote on 11-08-02 ? It is posted here.

2. Can you point out all the politians that were NOT convinced that Iraq had WMD's on 12-01-03 ?

3. Another question... we massed troops 30 days after the final ultimatum... then tried for 3 more months... do you think Saddam MIGHT have taken that opportunity to get rid of them ? Perhaps to Syria ? Iran ?

You say blindly following... I see blindly opposed to anything... as many on the left are... that Bush says or does.

Personally, I am also a libertarian, and would love to get the government more out of my life... But I also trust/believe that our current President is doing a pretty good job under impossible circumstances...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 01:06 PM

Personally, I have problems with authority - one of the reasons why I'm pretty happy with the job I have.

Team sports teach us valuable lessons - at least they used to - about unity, sacrifice, hard work, selflessness and success. When you put your team before your self you are not doing so to empower the coach - you do it for the greater good of your teammates. Later, if it turns out the coach is an a-hole, he gets fired.
We are in a war in Iraq for better or worse - many years from now, but not yet IMO, it will be clear exactly which. In the meantime we might as well present a unified front to our enemies. And, once again, Kerry has publicly stated many times over that he will continue the efforts in Iraq should he be elected (although he can't seem to make up his mind whether he'll be sending in more troops or using less troops).
So why doesn't everybody get on board and help get this thing done?
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 01:31 PM

In reply to:

Unity behind a president who put our country into an existing war, (in no small part) as a result of a direct attack on our soil, is a no-brainer.




pmbuko, you hang yourself with your own words. What you describe above is exactly what happened after 9/11! The ongoing war (slain marines in Lebanon, the first attempt at WTC bombing, the USS Kohl) came to US soil, and to follow our president is, as you put it, a "no-brainer".

Maybe we haven't found Saddam's WMD's yet. We know they were there because we sold them to him! There was universal acceptance before we invaded Iraq that there were WMD's there. John Kerry even said so. Therefore, Saddam hid them (or sent them over the border to Syria) before the invasion.

Maybe Saddam wasn't directly responsible for 9/11. He was still a brutal dictator with WMD's, and a threat to US interests. Iraq is much better off now than they were 2 years ago. Iraquis were glad to see Saddam go. I worked with an Iraqi every day who had family still in Baghdad, and despite her worries about them, she supported the war.

Mark
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 05:22 PM

In reply to:

What you describe above is exactly what happened after 9/11!


That's not how I see it. Yes, there was an existing conflict between non-overtly sanctioned international fundamentalist Muslim forces and the West. But the evidence linking Iraq to any such forces is scarce.

The fact that he possessed WMDs at some point was never in question. More important than posession, however, is intent. Was Saddam a real risk to our national interests? Highly debatable. That's the crux of the issue.

Hitler and his allies WERE a clear threat to our national interests. He happened to rise to power at a time when isolationism was our country's modus operandi, and it's easy to blame our lack of earlier action on the blinders that resulted from such non-forward-thinking policy.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 06:28 PM

Saddam also hatched a plot to assassinate Bush Sr. Seems like an enemy to me.

I read a NY Times article that had been reprinted in todays local paper that stated Al-Sadr's young recruits are paid $400 per month to join the militia. Where do you suspect that money is coming from? I'd bet dollars to donuts it's coming from Iran. In my book that makes Iran our enemy... just as Saddam's funding of, and support for, terrorists made him our enemy.

Regardless, it's just as easy today to tell the good guys from the bad guys as it was in WWII.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 06:40 PM

The Ba'athist regime in Iraq and the Ba'athist regime in Syria are Nazi governments, yes, that's correct - totalitarian national socialist police states which make war on their neighbors and threaten world peace. The dirty little secret of WWII was that France was essentially an enthusiastic member of the Neue Weltordenung, so it's not surprising that France is so friendly with the Nazis of Syria and Iraq. Except for France, we took care of the Nazis in Europe and removed a totalitarian nationalist socialist police state in Iraq. Good job!!!

So much for the atttempts at 'secular' government in that part of the world. What can we say about Islamic Jihadists? They are also totalitarian fascists who are making war on the world, and who have attacked us, and hurt us badly - they hate our freedom, they hate our religions, they hate our success, they hate our music and they hate that this is where the party is happening.

If GWB took out Iraq because he believed they had WMD and that it was even conceivable that they would share those weapons with Jihadists through back-door support, then I'm more than OK with it. OK, I would like to see Muqtadar Al'Sadr's head on a pike, that's true, but all in all, a good effort.

Iran and its mullahs who execute 16 year old girls because they have sharp tongues will, thanks to the French and Russians, have nuclear weapons soon. They have to go.

Just my opinion.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 08:21 PM

2x6 ... Wow !... I am speechless here. So.. VERY WELL SAID !!!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 08:23 PM

In reply to:

Iran and its mullahs who execute 16 year old girls because they have sharp tongues will, thanks to the French and Russians, have nuclear weapons soon. They have to go.


I read about that today, too. Scary to think that events like this are just shrugged off or lauded in that country.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 08:31 PM

In reply to:

Wow !... I am speechless here.


OH? (in a John Wayne voice) Wul' that'll be the day, pilgrim.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 08:33 PM

Ok... Who the hell woke up Father Time ? ...
Posted by: Ajax

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 08:34 PM

[raspberry]
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 08:35 PM

PM... I think I can speak even for BigWill on this one... We even want liberals safe from terrorists... you included ! ...
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/23/04 11:25 PM

Thought it would be a good time to throw out a thanks to Ringmir for getting this thread started over a month ago now. I've found it to be the most entertaining/interesting/civil (for politics) thread on here in a while (I can only read so many should I get the M22 or M60 threads).
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/24/04 02:39 AM

I'm currently accepting cash and checks from anyone who wishes to contribute to the "Save Peter From Terrorists" fund.

Rest assured your contributions are tax-deductible.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/24/04 04:32 AM

Come on, Pumbuko, don't you really think they're "freedom fighters" rather than terrorists?
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/24/04 01:57 PM

I am so glad to see this thread is still alive. I've been neck-high in dirty diapers and spitup, so I've had to limit my board surfing.

Just saw an interesting thing on Drudge Report.

Apparently, Kerry has contacted one of the Swift Boat vets that he roomed with in Vietnam to find out why they were beating up on him so hard. I guess he ended the conversation with a request to meet with him face-to-face, which was declined by the fellow vet.

I wonder what that's all about....hmmmm, let me think...."Will you guys cut this out? What's it going to take to put an end to this? How much katsup will it take?"

Drudge is also reporting that Kerry's own journals are stating that they had not been fired upon yet.....9 days after the incident with his first purple heart. I guess the campaign is trying to control the flames by floating the possibility that his first award was for self-inflicted wounds.

Man, this thing is falling apart right around him. His service in Vietnam is truthfully not pertinent to his ability to be President, but he used it as a deciding issue and it's now stuck to him like a bad case of herpes.

Yes, I know that I'm quoting something that is only breaking, but Drudge is usually on the mark. The interesting part will be if the mainstream media starts to pick up the story. As is always the case, they may be slanted to the Left, but they usually give in and run a damaging story if the story has enough meat to it...just ask Clinton.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/24/04 09:20 PM

Hey pmbuko, here is a beautiful decanter commemorating the 1968 Republican convention - a must have for any patriotic American! LOL

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=823&item=3695818732

Yes, I am addicted to eBay.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/24/04 10:30 PM

In reply to:

The far left loaths war for any reason. Basically pacificts that think both sides are wrong and the issue can be worked out.



You say that like it's a bad thing.


Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/24/04 11:29 PM

Correct spiff - it is a good thing in a pluralistic democratic society. However, when a pluralistic democratic society is confronted by evil, take Nazi Germany for an example, liberal tolerance leads to Chamberlain's historic idiocy, Munich, an empowerment of evil and a war of survival.

Sometimes you have to stand up for good, acknowledge evil for what it is, and fight.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/25/04 12:03 PM

In reply to:

Sometimes you have to stand up for good, acknowledge evil for what it is, and fight.


Very true. And if you are poor or disadvantaged, your chances of taking a stand and fighting are so much better than the rest of us!
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/25/04 01:39 PM

Not so true in todays volunteer forces. Lots of kids from my high school have been turned down by the military in recent years for a variety of reasons.
Also, the reservists and Nat'l Guard troops seem to be regular working guys like you and me. In fact, the guy I replaced in the classroom 6 years ago was an officer in the reserves forced into duty in Bosnia.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 01:28 AM

I think this is my all time favorite Internet forum thread.



Posted by: Thasp

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 02:18 AM

In reply to:


How about Kerry? Look at the news yesterday and today. Bush announces planned troop withdrawls (and eventual base closures?) in Europe. Kerry blasts him on this in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars despite having said last month that he was for scaling down overseas military deployments.
Why the flip-flop? Kerry's campaign manager called it "new thinking"!
More likely he sees an opportunity to curry favor with the Europeans (who - despite their loathing for Americans and their opposition to our foreign policy and ideology - really love the influx of cash that our military bases bring), a chance to paint himself as pro-military at the last minute (that is absurd given his voting record in the Senate and his rhetoric after the Vietnam War), and continue his anti-Bush attacks on all fronts.




A wonderful example of that man's inability to stick to his guns on anything he says. I don't watch the news much, so I don't get to hear and see all of these things. That guy'll say and do anything to get positive feedback and to criticize Bush.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 12:12 PM

The absolute best is how Kerry is demanding Bush renounce those swiftboat adds yet when moveon.org accuses Bush as being Hitler Kerry says nothing.

Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 12:30 PM

there is a difference between a website saying something.. and nationally broadcast commercials. either way, i find it ridiculious that BUSH would even try and doubt kerry's war record, when his scared, pampered little a$$ was too wussy to go there in the first place. !!

and make no mistake, bush is FOR these anti kerry ads.. he acts like he aint, and gives the illusion of supporting kerrys military record.. yet, he makes no attempt to stop the group from making the commercials.. plus, 2 of his own staff members have had to resign cause of direct links to the swift vets organization.. now tell me bush isnt behind this crap!!..

and just another angle to all this.. bush could actually be helping kerry with all this swift boat stuff.. heres why.. kerry has yet to have to really get specific about other key issues in this election. budget, the war, health care, domestic security, expanding jobs and american work force, economy, etc.. and as long as bush keeps attacking his military record.. all kerry has to do is defend that, and never get pressed on the other REAL issues.. i dont know bout ya'll, but what kerry did 30 years ago is not really my concern.. what i am concerned with, is what he will do in the next 4 years..

the bush campaign better rethink their tactics, cause i think it my end up hurting them in the end..

bigjohn
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 12:57 PM

Speaking of Kerry not having to give is views on other issues yet, when do the debates start?
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 01:15 PM

If I'm not mistaken, Moveon.org is funding commercials of this nature....so there isn't much difference here.

As far as that lawyer that was advising the vets while working for Bush's campaign, you might want to be careful about that argument when the council for Moveon.org is also council for the DNC.

In the end, you have the same thing being done by both sides here. The candidates may not like it, but it's free speech. Bush is denouncing these types of organizations and their tactics and Kerry won't even do the same....He's a cry-baby who is mired in this war record issue and is doing whatever he can to spin his way out of the quicksand that he laid out there.

"kerry has yet to have to really get specific about other key issues in this election. budget, the war, health care, domestic security, expanding jobs and american work force, economy, etc.. and as long as bush keeps attacking his military record.. all kerry has to do is defend that, and never get pressed on the other REAL issues.. i dont know bout ya'll, but what kerry did 30 years ago is not really my concern.. what i am concerned with, is what he will do in the next 4 years.."

John, I love this part. You have summarized the problem with this thing and society as a whole. We have a large mass of sheep out there willing to vote for this guy solely upon their dislike of Bush. He consistently avoids any discussion of his useless record in the Sentate. He focuses consistently on his war record. Now, when his record is under fire and they have to concede possible inconstencies in his story, he tries to spin himself as the candidate running on issues. People are so fired up to get rid of Bush that they are willing to vote in this spineless chamelion to run the country.

I personally don't like Bush. I think that has some pretty extreme views on civil liberties that piss me off. I think that he is just another spending-whore pandering to different political groups, unwilling to stand by the 'smaller government' principal touted by the Republican party. However, given all of these concerns, I am not willing to get in line with the rest of the sheep and vote for this guy who has no core set of beliefs, does only what is beneficial to his political career, and doesn't have the courage to stand up and answer for the choices he made in his political career.

On a different note, to vote Kerry in would derail the possibility of a Condy/Hillary fight for president in '08.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 01:24 PM

i agree with what you are saying.. i have said it once, i will say it again.. we arent voting for the 'best' candidate, we are voting the least worse.. the lesser of two evils as it may be!!

i dont think condy has a chance in 2008, but hillary sure does. its a scary thought, but one that has merit. i think the 'idea' of her running is more appealing than her actually doing it.. once she gets put to a national audience on a regular basis, that bland, mono-tone voice will end up sounding like the teacher in the peanuts cartoons.. she will lose steam fast, and surly not win.. i think??

bigjohn
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 06:56 PM

There has been quite a bit of talk about how those smear ads may have been hurting Bush, too.
I think the ads have done more harm to Kerry, however. The issue of his service and post-war testimony has been forced onto the public agenda. It appeared the media previously had been more than happy to simply rubber stamp his military service.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 07:13 PM

In case no one remembers, Vietnam is an issue no one wants to remember. Kerry made his service in Vietnam a central issue of his campaign to counter the traditional Republican attack on democrats as soft on national security issues.

I think Kerry's decision will cost him the election for the following reasons:

1. We lost 50,000 men in the South East Asian war - a war which divided this country and did permanent damage to the national psyche. Talking about Vietnam is as appealing as a bucket of piss.

2. Kerry held himself out as a war hero despite the fact that he knew there is a substantial and vocal group of vets who think Kerry overstated his valor. Bragging is bad enough, making false or inflated claims would be unforgiveable.

3. Kerry made public statements during the war, after his service - statements which disgraced the service of millions of people who served and who don't think of themselves as war-criminals.

4. Kerry's supporters denigrated Bush's service in the Air National Guard. More folks have served in the National Guard over the years than enlisted military. I think Kerry may have insulted a substantial group of voters who served in the National Guard. His political advisers should have advised him about this potential group of voters who never thought of themselves as an affinity group until Kerry's campaign insulted them.

Just some thoughts


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 07:28 PM

In reply to:

3. Kerry made public statements during the war, after his service - statements which disgraced the service of millions of people who served and who don't think of themselves as war-criminals.


I know that people don't like thinking of themselves as criminal, but Kerry was not making up the horrible acts he witnessed. People did kill women and children. People did burn entire villages.

Yes, it was a brutal war and our soldiers had trouble differentiating between cililians and militants. But that does not excuse their acts.

The many soldiers who did NOT commit any of those acts have a right to be angry with Kerry, but I have a feeling that those who DID commit them are just sore because they don't like to be reminded of it. And I don't blame them, because morals are not a very helpful thing when you're just trying to stay alive.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 07:39 PM

Nobody had an answer, so I looked it up and answered my own question. The debate schedule for the 2004 election year is as follows:

First presidential debate:
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL
Thursday, September 30

Vice presidential debate:
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH
Tuesday, October 5

Second presidential debate:
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Friday, October 8

Third presidential debate:
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
Wednesday, October 13

Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 07:41 PM

PM... I have 4 relatives who served in Vietnam. They lived through cases where children would literally walk up to them, and explode (bombs on their backs) ... other times they would start firing automatic weapons.

Enemy Soldiers there learned to dress in civilian clothes to fool our guys, who WERE abiding by the Geneva convention. These "soldiers" would then open fire on our troops. Same thing would happen with women...

So our guys defended themselves. And yes, that IS excusable.

Here is a fact... no military in HISTORY has EVER used a higher standard of protecting innocent civilians on the "other side" than have we.

Also... in Vietnam, you never read about the millions of man-hours spent by volunteers to run hospitals, care for children... etc... These volunteers were off duty soldiers...
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 07:53 PM

I don't want to be taken out of context. I was merely trying to state that reprehensible war crimes were in fact committed in Vietnam that could not even remotely be considered self-defense. I'll definitely concede that the number of people participating in them may not have been as great as Kerry suggested. They were likely rare incidents, similar in occurence to events such as Abu Ghraib the current conflict.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 08:18 PM

My point exactly, pmbuko. That's why Kerry will lose the election. He opened a sore. He did not heal the wound.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 08:43 PM

Peter...please tell me that's apple juice in your avatar.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 08:44 PM

Nope his kid's cranking brewskis! That's pretty non-PC, huh? LOL
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 09:00 PM

Notice that at least an inch or so is separating his mouth from the beer...

He only gets a single dipped pinky's worth of beer at this age. But he always wants more.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 10:12 PM

Now THAT was funny.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/27/04 10:58 PM

Now you're making me feel guilty. But it's a good excuse to use a new pic!
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/29/04 10:58 AM

PM,

I think that you have hit right on the point of what Kerry did that pissed all of these vets off. If you listen to his testimony, he lists off these different incidents and then states that these were not isolated incidents, but were rather the norm. Instead of telling of the horrors of war, he threw a blanket of disgrace over ALL vets. I think that this is why he's getting flamed so hard right now by these guys.

I think that I've said it before, but I'll say it again. John Kerry stepped on a land mine when he put his war record up as the foundation for his campaign. He is now trying to shift the dialog to pertinent issues of today, which is a welcome sentiment. The problem for him with doing that is that it will reopen the flip-flop dialog and his extremely liberal voting record dialog. This should make for an interesting few weeks up to the election.
Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 08/30/04 02:15 PM

This has been a great thread. It's hard for me to find legitimate reasons to get excited about Bush or Kerry. I think politicians of their "ilk" are the reasons voters in Minnesota elected a pro wrestler as Governor a while back.

My evaluation of the 2 leads me to the conclusion that I cannot vote for Bush. We need a strong intelligent leader for the next few years. Looking at Bush historically - one huge red flag appears. In 1989 as owner of the Texas Ranger baseball club, Bush allowed the trade of Sammy Sosa (and Wilson Alvarez) for Harold Baines and Fred Manrique. He's forever tainted in my eyes.

I'm hoping Jesse Ventura will enter the contest between now and November! Jesse and California's latest Governor would be a helluva bipartisan ticket.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 01:01 AM

Perhaps all this Vietnam crap will end up helping Kerry, it would sure help keep ppl's mind off of who he really is!




Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 04:27 AM

Lame. Sorry, but I've heard the term "flip-flop" so much that my brain checks out. It's almost as lame as this.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 08:44 AM

I have to call you out on this one. You state that you "check out" when you hear the "Flip-Flop" argument. I assume you do so brushing it off as simple partisan attack. The problem with this is the fact that the term being used has a very well-founded origin. To do so is to do exactly what Kerry is trying to do....you are trying to brush aside his 15+ years record in the Senate and vote him in solely based upon your disdain for the President. Truthfully, this is reckless. To disregard Kerry's voting record and the consistent contradictions in his positions is like picking your heart surgeon based upon his/her charm and good looks and not their qualifications.

I have to say that I'm fully surprised how much I hear people willing to vote for Kerry solely because they dislike Bush. It's such a apathetic/lazy approach to the responsibility of voting in this country. The choice of a leader needs to be made based upon the belief structure of the candidate and your confidence that his/her positions and record indicate that they will truly rise to the responsibilities of the office....not "just because".

If you want to see this idea in action, just take a walk into that crowd of protestors in New York. Yes, a few may be knowledgeable of the issues, but I would bet that they majority are these idiotic sheep caught up in the frenzy of Bush-hating wanna-be hippie mentality. Ask them to discuss Kerry's positions and watch the eyes gloss over or watch them try to divert the discussion to how "Bush is a liar!!...a warmonger!!!". In the end, you find the proof that it is our right as citizens to gather and protest, as well as our right as citizens to remain truly ignorant of how our government actually works.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 11:52 AM

Lame? Oh, here's lame ... Jihadists sure know how to treat their gentle Buddhist friends:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - A militant Iraqi group said it had killed 12 Nepali hostages and showed pictures of one being beheaded and others being gunned down in the worst violence against captives since a wave of kidnappings erupted in April.
The announcement of the killings, made in a statement posted on an Islamist Web site Tuesday, came as France intensified its efforts to save two French reporters held hostage in Iraq by a separate militant Islamic group.

The Nepalis were kidnapped earlier this month when they entered Iraq to work as cooks and cleaners for a Jordanian firm. The killing of men from a tiny country that had nothing to do with the invasion or occupation of Iraq will send shockwaves through foreign companies doing business here.

"We have carried out the sentence of God against 12 Nepalis who came from their country to fight the Muslims and to serve the Jews and the Christians ... believing in Buddha as their God," said the statement by the military committee of the Army of Ansar al-Sunna.

The group posted a series of photographs showing the killing as well as a video.

The recording showed two masked men, one in camouflage, holding down a hostage. One of the men then used a knife to behead the hostage and then hold his head aloft.

The video then showed a group of hostages lying face down and being shot by a man using an automatic rifle. It then showed bodies splattered with blood and bullet wounds.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 12:07 PM

Proceeds from the ketchup sales apparently go to scholarship funds for the kids of fallen servicemen. That's not lame, pmb.

The protesters in NY, and the fools on the streets that are intimidating convention goers, illustrates again the intolerance of the left nowadays. If you don't agree with their Marxist-based drivel you apparently shouldn't participate in democratic activities, shouldn't express your opinion, and shouldn't walk on the sidewalks of NYC. I am stunned by the thuggery demonstrated by these people.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 12:13 PM

Please BigWill. Are you saying that the Anarcho-Trotskyites shouldn't express themselves? At least they haven't stoned anyone yet.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 01:42 PM

What's the scoop w/ these anarchy fools anyway? I thought that this ignorant and juvenile concept disappears with the conclusion of puberty. Why Democrats would associate themselves with these morons is beyond me.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 01:59 PM

The colleges keep spitting out new ones.
Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 03:46 PM

An anti-Bush vote cannot be considered a lazy or reckless way of voting. I've cast a few of my presidential votes for third party candidates-voting my conscience and knowing full well that my vote was for all practical purposes meaningless. If I vote for John Kerry this year it will not only be an anti-Bush vote, it will also be anti-Cheney, anti-Rumsfeld, anti-Ashcroft, anti-Condy Rice, anti-Wolfowitz and anti-Karl Rove. I don't believe, in my heart, that this group of neo-conservatives has the ability to move this country forward. I'm very knowledgable of Kerry's weak Senate record-my wife is a passionate Democrat, we argue politics everyday. I'm extremely frustrated to not have a "great" candidate to vote for, but at this point will probably cast a vote for Kerry as I live in a "battleground" state and can't stomach the alternative. I don't think I'll live long enough to see any changes in our political system, but I don't feel that the two party system serves us well anymore. Candidates outside the realm of Democrats and Republicans can't muster the financial resources to compete.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 04:47 PM

If we were in a different time, I might agree with you. However, there is too much at stake right now to be using the "anyone-but" vote. We are talking about the highest office in the US during a time of war....a time where our enemy is watching very closely and will regard this as a indicator of America's resolve and determination. At this critical juncture, I find it to be reckless to give power to someone that has absolutely NO resolve just because you don't like the President. Is there any better way to signal a victory to our enemies?

Yes, the two-party system sucks. It continues to provide weak candidates funded up the wazoo w/ special interest money. We are continually left to decide between the better of two evils. Unfortunately for everyone, the Dems dug as deep into the liberal pot and put up a real loser this year. If they would smarten up, push the fringe left to the side, and focus on their moderate base, this thing might have been a blowout. Instead of the fiscally conservative JFK-type glory, we are left with the politically-driven Teddy Kennedy-esque socialist BS....at least until the camelion changes colors again.
Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 05:38 PM

Yes we're at war-this group is floundering through it with no apparent real strategy. This isn't a strong President-he's a floundering, ill-advised man. If he'd put as much effort into a real strategy in Iraq as he does discrediting Kerry's Vietnam record (as he did with John McCain 4 years ago) we'd be much better off. The only moderate in the entire cabinet is Colin Powell and who in Washington listens to him? He's been hung out to dry on the war issues and obviously been reduced to the role of a Cheney-Bush mouthpiece.

Can you really, with any conviction, say that we're at war in Iraq because of 9/11. I supported and applauded Bush, as did most of the rest of the world, going into Afghanistan post 9/11. Now show me a connection between Saddam and 9/11. Is the world a better place without Saddam? You bet! Do I feel any safer here in Minnesota knowing that Saddam is under lock and key? No way. Are we making progress against bin Laden and his cohorts or are we just further pissing them off and breeding more militant radicals who hate America and what America stands for. We've lost the good will that the rest of the world afforded us post 9/11. The Bush/Cheney blind rush to war in Iraq has cost us that. If we intend on saving the world from all evil we had better get to Sudan, North Korea and countless other areas. Can we afford to do that? What are the real costs of all this going to be? Can our economy withstand the pressures of Bush's deficit spending as well as his tax cuts? Who's going to pay? Probably not me, but I worry that my children will ultimately get saddled with the end results of this administration's policies.

As far as "recklessly giving power to someone with no resolve". I find it reckless that this country gave power to a man who has mockingly attacked Kerry and McCain's service record, but whose only apparent recollection of serving this country as a young man, is that he visited a dentist at an army post in Alabama. The thought of transition of power during a time of conflict is unsettling, but this President has not, in my eyes, earned the right to a second term.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 06:26 PM

Jorge... We will try one thing at a time. First, We found 4 different terrorist training camps in Iraq, one of which had a passenger compartment from a jumbo jet for training. So, Is it your position that Iraq was not involved in harboring and training terrorists ?
Posted by: littleb

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 07:20 PM

I wasn't going to walk into this fray, but this issue has brought me out into the open. Considering the hatred of Americans throughout the Middle East, every country in the region could be suspect of harboring terrorists. Let's be objective here, and put ourselves in the shoes of the average Iraqi. We've been bombing them for 20 years, so it wouldn't be surprising that certain individuals would chose to take action against the US. The question I ask is why Iraq? I don't trust that the Bush Administration is going to tell the public the truth in regards to this. Are people so afraid of a possible terrorist threat that the President making up intelligence reports to start a war with a weak, middle eastern dictatorship isn't even questioned. I, for one, am appalled by this. We impeach a President for lying about a sexual adventure. We glorify a President who lies to start a war. I'm totally stunned by this.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 07:43 PM

Well... You did walk into it. Clinton was impeached for lying under oath about a sexual harassment case brought by a former employee. Lying under oath to keep one's self from being convicted or ruled against is called perjury.

Now... as for the war in Iraq... Name some specifics that were lies. By the way, this is the 9th question I have asked in this thread, with the first 8 never answered.
Posted by: curtis

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 08:07 PM

Do any of you watch the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart? I think it does an decent job of being neutral(it does lean to the left) and putting things in to a good perspective. It is also freaking funny.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 08:12 PM

It is a bit left, and is often hilarious... Dennis Miller is a bit right, and is also a load of fun. Notice neither of them gets into hatrid... a good thing.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 08:30 PM

It is freakin' funny but that show is far from neutral - the core philosophy seems somewhere between communist and nihilist.
Jorge, we have debated the Iraq war to death. Turbodog summed it up very well, I believe. Maybe someone can link to that excellent post by Turbodog?
Regardless, if not for 9-11 we would not be in Iraq today. The war against the bad guys is not confined to one country or one group of people. The whole region - from Morocco to Afghanistan - celebrated wildly the killing of thousands of innocents on 9-11. There is a long history of terrorism against the west by Muslim fanatics. They target civilians.
The enemy is not one man (Osama), or one group (alQaeda), but a radical, unchecked political culture bent on the destruction of western civilization. Given time, money and technology they will likely succeed.
Scary as it sounds, Iraq is a good start. We need to follow up with determined efforts to overthrow all the Muslim totalitarian theocracies, raids against the Iranian and Pakistani nuclear programs, and develop alternatives to middle eastern oil. Forget about peace talks - they only use them to catch their breath, re-arm, and re-deploy. That's my opinion.

Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 08:53 PM

Craigsub -

During the State the Union Address on January 28, 2003, President Bush said:

Bush: The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

On Dick Cheney's request Joseph Wilson went to Africa to investigate this issue. It was his determination that Iraq did NOT try to buy "yelow cake" uranium from Niger, and in fact all the paper work pointing to the fact were forgeries. He reported this back to Dick. So one of two things happened.

1) George lied during the State of the Union address.

or

2) He didn't know about Mr. Wilson's trip, and the results of his findings.

I'm not sure which scenerio is scarier.

I do find is very troubling as well that upon Mr. Wilson's speaking out against Mr. Bush's remarks, his wife is "outed" as an undercover CIA agent. I watched George on the news laughing about it, saying with a big smile on his face "we'll probably never find out who did it..."

You asked.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 08:57 PM

Ah, Spiff, you have been too busy with your new home. A couple months ago the British investigation by Lord Such&such revealed that Saddam had indeed sent a group of homies to buy uranium (sounds bad, but apparently the stuff is harmless) from that country in Africa. He had also sent a delegation to Afghanistan for some reason - I forget what.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 09:18 PM

Spiff....From the transcript: "The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed in the 1990's that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Notice YOU left out that FAR more telling phrase regarding the IAEA's belief at the time. The British intel was a minor portion of the evidence. Both the UN and the IAEA were convinced that Iraq had an on going nuclear weapons program at the time.

There have also been ample writings that Wilson's wife had lobbied for him to get this job... and that he was a long time Democratic Party supporter...

There is also a lot of evidence that Wlson was the one lying...


Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 09:35 PM

In reply to:

The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa




It was also recently verified to be true by the intelligence agencies of at least 3 other countries.

All of these comments about Bush lacking intelligence is straight out of the old liberal playbook. They tried it with Reagan, too. For a dumb guy, Bush sure has been able to cause one heck of a meltdown in the Democratic party. It has been very enjoyable to watch.

The hate the left is spewing is pitiful. I'll bet Kerry and Edwards are nice guys. As people, I like them. Their policy ideas are just wrong, so I won't vote for them.

I challenge all of the lefties in this thread to tell us why to vote for John Kerry without referring to Bush as part of the argument. Can you go 2 days telling us why to vote for Kerry without making a degrading comment about Bush? Of course you can't...
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 10:11 PM

I agree with you, littleb. Every country in the middle east is at least suspect for harboring terrorists. The majority of folk in that part of the world do hate us. Their religious leaders have fulminated against the west, in general, and the most powerful western country, the USA, in particular, for decades, fulminations which further a devotional Holy War, a Jihad against infidels. Iraq was a secular Arab country - though secular, it was also a National Socialist totalitarian police state with a completely controlled press - a press which promoted hatred of the US as vitriolic as that of the Islamic Jihadist press. So, if you put yourself in the shoes of the average Iraqi, as you suggest, perhaps you are humiliated as you are told by Al Jazeera and the Arab press in general, because the US brought down the Nazi Ba'athist criminal regime of S. Hussein, and you did not - an insult to your honor. The average Iraqi should be grateful to the US, we delivered the average Iraqi from a nightmare system of systematic murder, rape, random arrests, torture if an informant thought you made a wrong gesture which signified disrespect of the Ba'athist regime.

Contrary to your suggestion, the US did not randomly bomb Iraq over the past decade - we did not bomb anything near civilian targets unless an anti-aircraft radar installation was purposely situated in a civilian area, then turned on thereby inviting an HARM strike.

So, why do they hate us? Because we are the biggest infidel, the most powerful kafir, we are successful, we are where the party is, the music, but really, you know there is an abundance of hatred in that part of the world for all kafirs, Buddhists (note the 12 Nepalese who were murdered today?), Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, B'hai. Why blame us for their over-flowing hatred? Another reason they "hate" us is that we let the Republican Guard and Iraqi army live. We did not slaughter them. They stashed their heavy weapons, took their RPGs and assault rifles home and come out to kill us when they can.

Why Iraq? Because our intelligence agencies, the French, the Russians, even the UN all thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Maybe they're buried, maybe they're sitting in Syria. Does anyone have any doubt that Iraq had WMD? The Ba'athist celebratory footage of the bloated bodies of Kurd civilians, skin sloughed and burned, bore swolen testimony to the Iraqi use of poison gas against civilians. Anyone doubt that Iraq was part of Pakistan's dissemination of nuclear weapon technology through AQ Kahn's network? Why do you think Bush "made up" intelligence about Iraq's WMD capabilities? Had Iraq cooperated with the UN inspections there would not have been a war, and you blame Bush?

Why do you mock our concern and fear of Jihadist terror attacks? I lived in NYC for most of my life and thought the twin towers were wonders. I can't believe Islamic Jihadists brought down these buildings. I can't believe the celebrations all over the middle east - celebrations of carnage. Why did they celebrate? Because they finally struck back at the Crusaders. There's a great burning in their hearts for failing to take Vienna in the 17th century, and for having been turned back by the infidel Christians. You think there can be peace with these folks? Not so long as every institution in these countries preach hate and celebrate murder. Heard of any peace marches in any Islamic country - any public outcry for peace with the Jews or the Christians, Buddhists or the Hindus? No. Because although you complain that Bush lied to us, the true fact is that every source of information every instrument of public opinion motivation in Islamic countries speaks in favor of Jihad, in favor of murder, and tell the biggest whopping lies you can imagine... and you're stunned by the fact that we made war on Iraq? I'm stunned you're stunned.


In reply to:

I wasn't going to walk into this fray, but this issue has brought me out into the open. Considering the hatred of Americans throughout the Middle East, every country in the region could be suspect of harboring terrorists. Let's be objective here, and put ourselves in the shoes of the average Iraqi. We've been bombing them for 20 years, so it wouldn't be surprising that certain individuals would chose to take action against the US. The question I ask is why Iraq? I don't trust that the Bush Administration is going to tell the public the truth in regards to this. Are people so afraid of a possible terrorist threat that the President making up intelligence reports to start a war with a weak, middle eastern dictatorship isn't even questioned. I, for one, am appalled by this. We impeach a President for lying about a sexual adventure. We glorify a President who lies to start a war. I'm totally stunned by this



Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 11:36 PM

Let me start by saying thank you to everyone for jumping in on this one. After seeing Jorge & Littleb's posts, I thought that I was going to have to jump into one of my lengthy tirades.

Since everyone has gotten my back....a few thoughts.

1. Arnold may have an annoying accent, but he is definitely a good speaker. He has a great stage presence and delivery. He just picked up a few points in my book.

2. Listed to Bush speak on Rush today. I don't listen to Rush usually (too extreme for me), but Drudge announced that Bush would be coming on his show. I will have to admit something. Having been one to question Bush's intelligence in the past (earlier posts included), I think that I have a new opinion of him. I think that his problem is not necessarily his intelligence level. I think that his problem is his ability as a public speaker. When he gets on a complicated topic, he nails the topic very well. It's the formulation of smooth soundbyte-worthy dialog that escapes him. In this new light, I can give him a little more credit than I have previously been willing to allow.

3. 2X6 - I am with you on your comments about the sentiment out there some have concerning fears of future attacks. A few times recently, I have seen people downplay discussions of future attacks. I truly believe that some people still don't get it. The events of 9/11 don't seem to have left enough of an impression on them to truly understand that they ARE coming....they want us DEAD...they're is no negotiating with them....no matter who is President, they are still going to do whatever they can to inflict mass damage on our nation and our people.

Yesterday at work I was having a discussion with a coworker about the election, etc. By the end, he kept trying to convince me that what we are dealing with now is no different than the Nazis, Communism, and Vietnam. I couldn't seem to get through to him that there is a HUGE difference. This battle is a religious one. Our enemy doesn't want to beat us on the battlefield.....they want to erase us from the planet. There are no rules of war for them.....there are no rules at all. No one is safe. So, we either sit back and wait for the next massive attack or we stay on the offensive and do whatever possible to deter or at least delay those attacks.

In the end, I just don't get it. When I read my dialog above, it makes me think of that scene from the Terminator when he's trying to get her to understand the Terminator and what she's up against. I should chuckle about that, but the reality is that it give me heartburn, because it's a perfect analogy for what we are now facing.

Well, I could go on and on, but I must attempt to get some sleep before the next baby meltdown.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 08/31/04 11:47 PM

2x6 as always I am in awe by your insight into culture in that part of the world.

A rehash but to all liberals:

In reply to:

Now show me a connection between Saddam and 9/11




Nobody is saying there is a direct link there, nobody has said. The point that you are TOTALLY missing is this is NOT a war against those who did 9/11. It is a war against terrorism period! Sadaam was high on the list of terror supporters. Scarey thing is we might have left him be if the inspections had been allowed to continue.

It's just so agrivating to hear that extremely lame arguement over and over from the left. If you are principled against war in general fine, but then that arguement doesn't suite you. So if that is your only arguement all I can say is "thick skull".

Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 12:04 AM

Hello Inane - funny thing is, I am a liberal - tolerant, generous, concerned, committed to policies which improve the human condition. On the other hand, I believe that evil exists, in every person, every culture in some measure. Some cultures reinforce those evil impulses, some reinforce the best in us. Jihadism is a naked expression of what I consider evil in that it is intolerant, cruel, rapacious, murderous and mendacious. It is based on lies and a peculiar mentality which glorifies victimization. Every institution in certain cultures reinforce and amplify these impulses. Because it is normative in certain cultures you cannot say it is insane, but by standards of reason and honesty, it surely is. Tolerate diversity? Yes. Tolerate evil? No.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 12:41 AM

In reply to:

If you don't agree with their Marxist-based drivel you apparently shouldn't participate in democratic activities, shouldn't express your opinion, and shouldn't walk on the sidewalks of NYC.


Hey, freedom of speech works both ways. If you don't agree with their neo-conservative drivel, you SHOULD participate in democratic activities (e.g. protesting) and SHOULD walk on the sidewalks of New York.

IMHO, they stepped up the 'newsworthiness' (I use that term loosely) of their protests because previous protests have been more or less ignored by the media -- yes, even the DAMN LIBERAL media. Now, I'm not condoning their actions, but mob mentality is a strange force...
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 12:44 AM

In reply to:

To disregard Kerry's voting record and the consistent contradictions in his positions is like picking your heart surgeon based upon his/her charm and good looks and not their qualifications.


And what, exactly, were Bush's qualifications in the 2000 election? Take away his charm and uncanny knack of clouding the issues in a debate, and what are you left with?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 12:52 AM

2x6,

I agree with your assessment of the fomentation -- or was it fulmination -- of hatred, more or less. If there's anything we can learn from them it's this:

Mixing religion and nationalism is NEVER a good idea.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 01:53 AM

Yes, pmbuko, I understand that you have equated Zionism, the movement for a Jewish national homeland with Islamic-Fascism. You have confused nationalism with National Socialism. You have confused a non-evangelizing religion which desires to live in peace, with a religion which elevates the sword as its religious symbol of Jihad - conquest as the sign of divine election. You have confused a true democracy which tolerates people of all religions and confers full human rights including equal legal status, with a religious totalitarian system which is, in its essence, fundamentally intolerant. You have confused a political and national culture which confers full legal and human status to women with a system which treats them like donkeys, condones honor killing of women, clitorectomies, etc. You have confused a nation which outlaws slavery with a culture which is the last great bastion of slavery. I only mean this as a philosophical criticism, but your subtle implied comparison of Zionism to Islamo-Fascims is without historical or rational force.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 02:12 AM

Reasons to vote for Kerry without mentioning the "B" word.

1) The constitution is not meant to deny any group of people equal rights.

2) Stem Cell research should be funded.

3) If you don't believe that the US's role in the world is to topple any and all governments that we dislike.

4) If you want to keep Church and State separate.

5) Supreme court justice appointments.

6) If you believe in the U.N. and what it stands for.

7) If you are pro-choice.

8) If you believe in actively seeking and funding alternative fuel sources to help cut our dependancy on foreign oil, rather than simply drilling in our own national parks.

9) You want a President that will respect our allies.

...that's just off the top of my head. I'm sure I can come up with more.


Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 02:29 AM

I believed in the United Nations, won a state essay prize of some United Nations Association while I was in HS. Had very high hopes for an organization which would dignify human rights and provide mechanisms for the elevation of the human condition.

What a farce! Instead, it is a club for the ruling classes of the most incredibly corrupt governments on earth, where they can all agree how terrible the United States is, and how much we owe them. The UN can appoint Syria to the chair of the Security Council, Somalia, Sudan and Libya to the human rights commission, and seriously discuss the problem of Jews using the blood of Moslem children to make Passover Matzoh and Purim cakes. The UN has become a debating society for despots and fools, a forum where France can lecture the United States about intervention in Iraq in order to protect France's siphoning of Billions of dollars in the UN's Food for Palaces program, and illegal weapons technology transfers to Iraq and Iran. That's what the UN now "stands for."

Yes, spiff, Bush's policy on stem cell research is moronic. We hope his war on terror does more violence to terrorists than to our constitution. Bush's policies intrude into personal choices of gender identity, he draws the line at gay-marriage, threatens a woman's right to choose. To say Bush is not the ideal candidate is an understatement.

That being said, these are dangerous times, we are under a relentless attack in a war of civilizations which we cannot negotiate, cannot appease and probably cannot win. Nevertheless, we are not given a choice as to whether to fight. Bush recognizes this. Kerry does not. Bush sees the world in black and white. Whether this is a function of a lack of intelligence or not, I think he's got it right. We got an ass-kicking cowboy just when we needed one.

Though a life-long democrat, this time around, I'm hitting for the other team.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 07:47 AM

2X6 - One word....AMEN!!!!! You truly get it.

I'm going to admit something that I rarely discuss...something that many might be surprised by. Four years ago, I stood there in the polling booth for a long time trying to figure out which man was better suited to be President. At that point in my life, I was well on my way in migration from the left to the middle, so Bush's fiscal and International policied appealed to me. However, many of his positions concerning social issues were very disturbing to me. So, I stood there trying to make this decision. In then end, I just couldn't vote for someone that advocated policies that infringed on certain people's rights, denied rights to others, and generally blurred the line between church and state. I put my mark next to Gore's name. My conscience truly wouldn't allow me to go the other way.

Now, it's four years later and my conscience will not allow me to vote based upon these issues. The ONLY issue right now needs to be the war on terror, because the handling of this situation over the next four years will ripple for years to come. Right now, my conscience will not allow me to endanger the lives of my family based upon social issues. The best I can hope for is that one of the candidate in the 2008 election really gets foreign policy, while maintaining a more libertarian stance on social issues.....Unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath.
Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 10:16 AM

Spiff-you hit the big bullets for an anti-Bush vote on the head. This administration doesn't understand that we can't achieve any sustainable peace with aggression.

The idea that this is a religous issue is ludicrous. These terrorists have as much to do with Islam as Bose does with good sound. I'm privileged to have a number of Muslims in my circle of friends. They were horrified with 9/11 and watch what goes on around the world "in the name of Islam" with dismay. They don't evangelize, put down women, or perform clitorectomies on their daughters. The idea that Islam is America's enemy is held by too many people in this country. This isn't a religous fight. We need to be extremely careful not to portray these terrorists as being the face of Islam. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Republican party has historically called for "less" government. Their platform, however, supports legislation against gay marriage and abortion. Basically legislating their version of morality. I've watched the Governor of our state and our state Senate do the same thing in Minnesota. They spent many days of the 2004 session arguing the gay marriage issue and at the end of the session had failed to pass a single meaningful piece of legislation. Health care, transportation, and even security issues got bypassed as these jokers tried to deny a group of American citizens equal rights and protection. That's the direction I see the conservative right wing of the Republican party leading us.

A challenge to you conservatives-give me 3 good reasons to vote for Bush and Cheney with anti-terrorism efforts excluded. Besides the security issues-what has this administration done to positively affect middle America. Has anyone in this forum seen a significant increase in their paychecks from the tax cut? Has anyone seen any improvement in anything other than the perception that we're somehow safer? I'm not saying that Kerry or anyone else can do better, I just don't understand all the support I'm hearing here for Bush. Those of you ridiculing Kerry's Senate record are right, he's weak. Please point out some strong points in Bush's record (other than he's tough on terror). He was a questionable businessman (check out his files with the Securities and Exchange Commission), pretty weak Governor, and certainly received no mandate with the 2000 electorate. If it wasn't for the Reagan/Bush era Supreme Court appointees, his road to the Oval Office would have been a bit tougher.

Just a hypothetical-what do the conservatives out there think will happen to this country if Bush isn't elected. Do you really think we'd see any major changes? Would a Kerry election really lead to Jihadic victory around the world? Bush can't decide if the war on terror can be won anyway, Monday it wasn't winnable, Tuesday it was. Flippity Flop indeed. I need a day off to listen to my Axioms.


Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 10:30 AM

turbodog- you mentioned listening to the RUSH interview of george w.. did you happen to catch sean hannity's show? he went down to times square to do his "man on the streets" segment, and interviewed some young kids that were involved with the anti-bush protests. he was asking them why they hated bush, and why they liked kerry, etc.. so then, he says to one kid, "how do you like kerrys running mate, stu ped..?" stu ped, stupid!! and the kid was like, "oh, yes he is a young up and comer.. i like what he has to say and he would make a great vice president".. blah, blah, blah.. ignorance is bliss. its scares me how such young, blindly led kids are the ones who will be pushing the buttons when i am an old man.

i am not a bush hater, and i am not a kerry supporter. i am actually still up in the air as to who i am voting for. as usual, the choice comes down to the "not the worse" candidate. just once i would like it to be about 'who is better', instead of 'how is least worse'....

bigjohn
Posted by: littleb

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 12:22 PM

I don't have specifics. I'm referring to the so-called CIA report, which said that the Iraqi's were working on WMDs. Nobody seems to know where it came from, but everyone knows it's not true. The President says he wasn't involved. I really didn't want to get into a debate, I'll just say someone in the administration is not telling the truth. I believe that someone is in the oval office.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 12:33 PM

So, let me see if I understand what you're saying -

1. there was a "so called CIA report"
2. the report found that "Iraqis were working on WMD"
3. No body knows where the CIA report came from
4. Everyone knows the report's conclusion is "not true"
5. Someone in the administration is lying
6. You believe that someone is in the oval office.

You think everyone agrees that Iraq was not working on WMD? I don't believe that. I don't think the survivors of the Iraqi poison gas (WMD) attacks on the Kurds believe it. I don't think the thousands of Iranian military veterans burned by poison gas believe it.

We have not found substantial stashes of WMD in Iraq. This is bad. It means either that Iraq destroyed its WMD which we all know they had (because they used them littleb) or that they are still stashed in Iraq, or that they were moved to another country, probably Syria.

Don't you agree, littleb, that if Saddam Hussein had permitted the UN inspectors unrestricted access to Iraqi sites (access to which they were entitled by the terms of the armistice of Gulf War I) there would not have been a war?

Why do you think Bush is lying about WMD when the intelligence services of the US, France, Russia, UK, and others all believed that Saddam Hussein had WMD and was developing worse?
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 12:36 PM

In reply to:

someone in the administration is not telling the truth



someone??

they are politicians man.. NONE OF THEM ARE TELLING THE TRUTH!!!

regardless of your party line, you are foolin' yourself if you dont think you are being lied to on a daily basis. its sad but true.

bigjohn
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 12:50 PM

Jorge writes:

In reply to:

The idea that this is a religous issue is ludicrous. These terrorists have as much to do with Islam as Bose does with good sound. I'm privileged to have a number of Muslims in my circle of friends. They were horrified with 9/11 and watch what goes on around the world "in the name of Islam" with dismay. They don't evangelize, put down women, or perform clitorectomies on their daughters. The idea that Islam is America's enemy is held by too many people in this country. This isn't a religous fight. We need to be extremely careful not to portray these terrorists as being the face of Islam. Nothing could be further from the truth.




I'm not saying there aren't many wonderful human beings who are Muslim. Without doubt, there are. However, it is clear that 'moderates' do not speak for Saudi Arabia which exports the Wahabi Fundamentalist Party Line, one which does espouse terror and hatred. Your friends may not have celebrated the success of the 9/11 attacks, but can you deny the great celebrations which spilled into the streets of so many Muslim countries? Do you think it was someone other than Jihadists who attacked the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and tried to fly a plane into our Capitol or White House on 9/11, or who blew up the USS Cole, or the Khobar Towers, or our embassies in Africa, or who beheaded Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, the 12 Nepalese and so many others? Why is there a Jihad war all over the world? Jihad against Hindu and Sikh in Kashmir and India, Jihad against Buddhist in Thailand and Indonesia, Jihad against Christian in Indonesia, Philippines - all over the world, Jihad against Jews - all over the world. Where is the outcry from Muslims at this relentless murder and warfare? The outcry I've heard is one which attempts to blame these acts on others - "Muslims couldn't do that, suicide is prohibited by Islam," but at the same time "Martyrdom" is not. We have heard a great cry, "don't blame us," but no acknowledgment of responsibility for a culture at war with the rest of the world.

Now, maybe at the end of the day, this war, this Jihad war being waged against the West will have to be fought by moderates, like your friends, against the Jihadists, a civil war. Who do you think would win? Where do you think the center of gravity of Islam rests? With moderates or Jihadists? We certainly haven't heard much from the moderates, and what we have heard appears to have been for Western consumption - that is, a message of peace directed toward our media, a message of war at home.

Now, your friends have not been disfigured by clitorectomies, but do you deny that Islamic society is characterized by a brutal oppression of women, a systematic denial of human rights to women, or that some such societies do require that girls be mutilated by clitorectomies?

Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 01:17 PM

So why are we still doing business with the Saudi's? Easy, we need their oil. Will Bush ever come down hard on the Saudi's? No way, the Bush family has made millions dealing with the Saudi's. Spending the billions we have spent on war in the Mideast on alternative energy source development and cutting our dependence on foreign oil would go a long way to changing the worlds political climate. Do you think the Saudi government would support the terrorists if the U.S. could threaten to cut off the petro-dollars. Do you think that Bush or Cheney have any desire to cut our need for oil in any way? Check out their past businesses and see if you can find ties to oil.

Center of gravity? There are millions of Muslims in the world, a calculated few are managing to disrupt and terrorize. Before we had 9/11 we had Oklahoma City-no Islamic Jihad there, just a couple of white guys from Kansas. We face (and always have) security threats from many different sources. My point is that fighting a supposed global terrorist threat by bombing Iraq is crazy. When and if peace is achieved in Iraq, will it be sustainable? And at what cost of American lives and dollars? I said it before-the world is a better place without Saddam, but this President's rush to war in Iraq will do little to improve the security of our country.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 01:25 PM

"Basically legislating their version of morality."

As opposed to yours?

Spiff gave good reasons to vote for Kerry - if that is how you feel about those issues.
But, I would ask you young liberal folks to re-examine your personal beliefs. Why do you hold the positions you do? Did you learn the "truth" from your university professors? From the media? From discussions with your friends? Or is it just that the liberal view is so tres chic? If so, then you have a lot of work to do.

Why have the older conservative guys generally won out in this thread? Is it because they're stubborn asses? Or is it because their political positions have been formed by personal reflections over a long period of years, stemming from a coherent core philosophy - rather than learned quickly from an expert in a classroom or as a politically expedient response to some single issue? When you tie your political positions to a broad philosophy about life, your arguments will likely be better reasoned and more easily defended. IMO, the philosophical basis for the modern liberal POV is the belief that capitalism is unfair - in other words, its philosophical basis is Marx.

IMO, voting for Kerry - and Democrats in general - continues our slide toward socialism and the loss of personal responsibility and individual freedoms. Not freedoms like smoking crack and ripping babies out of your womb, but freedoms like property rights, self determination (as a country and as individuals), freedom to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and those freedoms specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

As a Libertarian, I obviously have high regard for the rule of law as set forth in the Constitution - wanting strict and unwavering adherence to those principles regardless of "the changing times" - and a desire for personal freedom and individual accountability. Obviously, neither party has a candidate that fully embodies those principles, but I would sooner accept the socially conservative Republican than the socialist Democrat.

BTW, the educated position on abortion needs to be re-thought. With the advent of RU486 and widespread birth control availability in this country, there is no way abortions during the second trimester should be legal. It is barbaric, brutal, primitive, disgusting and simply wrong. Anyone who has seen an ultrasound of a 5 mo old fetus would have to agree, IMO.
Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 01:44 PM

BigWill don't get me wrong. I may be pro-Choice, but I'm seriously anti-abortion. I see people voting solely on one issue-it's not that easy. My point on the "legislating morality" comment was that the social issues (that affect very few in our society) kept our legislature from addressing issues that affect many.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 01:58 PM

Bigwill, you contradict yourself..

first you say that you have a.....
In reply to:

a desire for personal freedom and individual accountability



OK, that means for the right for a woman to do with HER body as she wishes, and not what you or some politician wants her to do.

then you say...
In reply to:

there is no way abortions during the second trimester should be legal




you express one mode of thought, then totally contradict it in your next paragraph.. i aint trying to jump on you or nothing, i am just saying it seems like you are doing a flip-flop, depending on the issue??

i personally, DO NOT believe in abortion. i to have seen ultrasounds, and they are babies in there, plain and simple.. BUT, with that said, i dont feel that i, OR ANYONE, has the right to tell a female what she can or cant do with her body. that is an issue that should be left up to the individual and her family, not the government.

so, im not agreeing or disagreeing with you.. just pointing out my impressions on your post.

bigjohn


Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 01:59 PM

We are dependant on imported hydrocarbon energy sources, as is every industrial society in the world. Saudi Arabia has the largest known oil pools in the world. Bush's energy policies are, IMO, poor. We should fund R&D for alternative energy paradigms, encourage conservation, and encourage increased domestic production of hydrocarbon energy sources.

The Saudis have done their best to corrupt our society. Former ambassadors, state department officials, presidents are all targeted by the Saudis with enormous financial rewards for their support of Saudi Arabia. This is the real retirement plan anticipated by many foreign service employees. Saudi Arabia corrupts our media with money, massive amounts of it used to buy favorable editorial positions. Saudi Arabia corrupts our educational institutions by funding departments of Islamic Studies which are staffed by Jihadists.

I think there's an enormous difference between the pre 9/11 and post 9/11 GW Bush - sort of like Shakespeare's Henry V. The Bush family was certainly up to its ears in Saudi favor before 9/11. I hope Pres. Bush sees them differently now. He is certainly presented with a conundrum, in that the despotic Saudi "royal family" holds itself out as a better alternative than the Wahabi Jihadists who the House of Saud claims are attempting to bring them down.

Sure would be nice if we were able to make a break through in Fusion energy research, quickly move to a hydrogen based economy, but in the meantime, the whole industrial world is competing for Saudi oil in the marketplace. If the US stopped buying Saudi oil, it wouldn't make any difference to Saudi output or revenues - the rest of the industrial world would pick up the difference in consumption.

There are over a billion Muslims in the world. I think you should check out Memri or other sites which report on what the media in these countries put out. The fat part of the bell curve of values normative in these societies is Jihadist Islam.

Do I think there will be peace in post war Iraq? No, I don't. I personally believe that Iraq is an unworkable creature of British/French WWI foreign policy. I'd favor giving the Kurds in the north their own state, the Sunis their own and the Shias their own. I think a Swiss style Canton system would work best. The alternative will necessarily be the emergence of another tyrant to hold that creature together.

I think the idea of a democracy in Iraq is overly optimistic. Where is there an Arab democracy in the entire world? However, the effort is noble, but it will be a target for disruption by all of Iraq's neighbors, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran - none of them want to see the emergence of a democratic society in Iraq. The effort has my best wishes.

Is the world better off without Saddam Hussein? How can anyone say it is not? At least we won't be the target of Iraqi nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Does the removal of Hussein make us safe from such attacks from Iran? That remains to be seen.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 02:24 PM

BigJohn... If our bodies are not within any government regulations... then...

1. Prostitution should be legal.
2. Drug use should be legal.
3. No woman should be prosecuted for harming a baby because of drug or alcohol use.
4. Seat belt laws should be repealed.

Posted by: ScottA

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 02:34 PM

BigWill,

I somewhat take offense to your description of a liberal as being a person that blindly accepts what they are told by their college professors and conservatives have put much thought and years into forming their views. Yes, I am a college graduate, and yes I had some liberal professors that pushed their views. I had just as many conservative professors that pushed theirs. I,as an educated adult, form my opinions through thought and experience. I am what you describe as a liberal. I enjoy nature and believe it should be there for my daughter to enjoy. I choose to help people that are less fortunate than I. I believe that we need not be policing the world, but taking care of our own. These are views I have developed on my own, due to my experiences. My father contracted polio at age four. Now at age sixty-four he has to rely on social security to survive. He was forced into early retirement from General Motors due to health issues resulting from Polio. He did not choose to contract Polio. He was simply unlucky. It was nothing he or his family did that led to his handicap. Do we simply ingnore the needs of these people, because they are unable to work and pay their own way? We found out in January that my wife, that is thirty-seven years old has breast cancer. She underwent a masectomy and 8 rounds of chemo. Thank goodness for insurance. I cannot imagine what we would do if we did not have it like many in our country. Between my wife and I we make good money. Over six figures. But without insurance, it would be devastating. Me, my wife, or my 11 year old daughter did anything to contribute to my wife's breast cancer. These life experiences lead me to be a liberal, someone who cares about other human beings. If that in some way makes me a "bad" person, then so be it.

I have many friends that are conservative. Do I think any less of them, no. But many times they argue what Rush Limbaugh said or what G. Gordon Liddy said or Pat White said. They simply spew the phrases I have already heard a million times.

Sorry for the ramble, but I felt the need.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 02:51 PM

ScottA ... I take offense to YOU.

1. What makes you think being a liberal means you care more about others. The evil Dick Cheyney donated over 25% of his gross income to charity last year... the highest % of the four (Bush, Kerry, Edwards, Cheyney). And personally my wife and I donate over $100k per year to charity. We built our businesses from scratch.. no government help at all.

2. If you cannt afford insurance in the US... a hospital HAS to take care of you... and can bill the govt.

3. Our 13 year old is diabetic, as in your example, he did not choose to get it. $50k of the above mentioned donations go to Diabetes research. Plus we pay for our own insurance.

4. Policing the world... Who got the Vietnam war going ? Democrats. Kosovo ? Democrats. Korea? Democrats. Grenada ? Republicans. Iraq ? Republicans... This is not a liberal/conservative issue... by the way, we spend appx. $40 domestically for every $1 on foreign aid.

Understanding that I was responsible for myself, and that working directly to improve my life as well as the lives of my family and employees led me to being a conservative. The other areas that led me to conservatism is that absolute corruption that exists in ALL government programs.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 03:01 PM

craig sub,

i think prostitution SHOULD be legal.. it is in one state..and its regulated, and it works. just cause a guy is lonely and dont have no girl.. it dont make it right to arrest him cause he is willing to pay for a service? or the female either cause she is willing to provide a service. its seen as a social stigma, but truth is, its been going on for thousands of years, and it always will.

i think 'natural' occuring drugs should be legal. if it grows natural, and requires NO human intervention to grow or multiply, then it should be legal. marijuana, mushrooms, peyode, etc.. these are natural, elements in nature, that have grown on their own for once again, thousands of years. why is it illegal to plant a marijuana seed and harvest its production, but its legal to plant a tomato seed and eat the tomatoes? this is a simpleton way of looking at it, but thats just how i see it.

#3 is a touchy one, i got no answers there.

and seat belts.. thats a hard one.. texas has mandatory seat belt law, and i abide by it. but, texas is also a no helmet law state, ??? does that make sense.. i think the line between prevention and control gets blurred here.. i think laws that are designed at 'preventing', and laws that are designed at 'controlling' fall into separate categories.

i know my views and beliefs probably aint the norm, and thats OK.. i think my 'moral compass' may not point the same direction as others. but i know one thing, regardless of something being a law or not, most of this argument boils down to personal accountability. people know what is right and wrong. i dont need the law to tell me that. main problem is, the government cant divide the nation into people that have the ability to know the difference between right and wrong, and those who cant.. so, they are forced to make extreme laws that blanket a whole section of people, even if those people are just fine with the way things are.

OK, i am on the chopping block now.. so have at it.

bigjohn
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 03:03 PM

Well, here's the deal, fellas. I have opinions which can be characterized as 'liberal,' and others which can be characterized as 'conservative.' If a gang of masked Islamic Jihadists takes you hostage, ties you up, puts you in front of a video camera, chants 'Allah is Great,' puts the dull sword to your throat, do you think the fact you are a liberal or a conservative will have any effect on the outcome of the situation?

We argue with each other. That comes with the territory of democracy. Liberals insult conservatives, and vice versa. "How can you be so blind ... how can you be so stupid ... I take offense at ..." We discuss policy, we try to convince each other that Kerry is a better candidate, or that Bush is, nevertheless, we are tolerant ... we accept that Kerry may win the election, or that Bush may win, and that the winner is our president. We may disagree with their policies and decisions, but though our disagreement may be spirited, heated, and insulting, we particiipate in a pluralistic, democratic socio/political system.

That system, our society, our values, our people are under attack. We did not make war on Jihadist Islamicists. They are making war on us. We can ignore the war ... it won't stop. We have to plan for a long dispute ... decades, maybe centuries long. Spooky, unnerving, but true.
Posted by: ScottA

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 03:13 PM

Craig,

Twist as you wish. I did not ever state that Liberals cared more about people than conservatives. I was simply stating to BigWill that my views are not simply based on what I have learned from my college professors. I have formed my opinions over time as well.

I live in a very conservative based state. Most of my friends are conservative. Most of them believe that all democrats or liberals are evil because we support some government programs for those who need it. I stress those who need it. I work in law enforcement as a Probation Officer. I supervise hundreds of people on a daily basis. Believe me, I see the worst of the worst. People who do not want to work and rely on others to live. Those people in my opinion deserve nothing. The problem is I believe we lump these people together with those who are truly in need. And there are those that are truly in need.

One of the main reasons I typically stay out of political discussions is exactly what you did with your first statement. You take offense to me personally and know absolutely nothing about me. I took offense to BigWill's classifying me as a blind follower unable to form my own opinions, not him personally. There is a difference. That is the problem. We all have differing opinions, but some get angry if others do not agree with their own.
Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 03:39 PM

Dick Cheney can afford to give more to charity. He collects more in deferred compensation from Halliburton than he makes as VP. Maybe his charitable donations help to soothe his conscience after porking out at the government trough as head of that company.
Posted by: littleb

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 03:42 PM

I agree that Saddam Hussein is and was a bad man. The world is full of bad men. We haven't gone to war with them. I just don't believe that the 2nd Iraqi war was necessary at this moment in time as the administration has claimed. War should only be an option when there are no other options. It appears that our young men and women are being put in harm's way at the wim of administration officials. I believe that this is just wrong.




Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 04:26 PM

Saddam Hussein is a mass murderer. Iraq is full of mass graves. He was a torturer. He belongs in a box. Just because there are other "bad men," doesn't mean we're not better off with Saddam in a cell. As to the rest of them, may they be put in adjoining accommodations quickly.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 05:37 PM

Some more ramblings from one of these dastardly conservatives....

1. I used to be a Liberal. The problem is that I grew up with these idealistic views about life and how the world should be. However, as I got older, I realized that the utopia that I used to espouse required that all involved pulled their weight equally and the government was effective. The problem with that vision is that we have a large segment of society that believes that utopia is achieved via redistribution of wealth and not by hard work and determination. This is dwarfed by the larger problem of our government's inefficiency. Our government is a picture of inefficiency and the concept of providing them 1 cent more than we have to is ludicrous. They have proven beyond a doubt that they are completely corrupt, inept, inefficient, and self-centered. Pair the two together and you have a group of society that believes the government is the savior and a government that is not worthy of 1 ounce of that respect.

2. I'm getting tired of the PC approach to this war on terror. The media is petrified to use the term "Islamic Terrrorist". The Liberals will jump on you stating that these extremists are not representative of Islam. The problem here is that no one wants to tell it like it is. No matter what is at the core of Islam, the extremists, terrorists, and varying regimes are running the show in modern Islam. Like some have said here, the only face of Islam we see is that of the oppressors/despots/terrorists. What you do not hear is anyone in the Islamic world piping in to condemn what is going on. What you don't see is the Muslim world policing itself. All we see is daily terror attack around the world in the name of Islam. It's time for the world to wake up and smell the coffee and call this thing what it is.

3. Abortion is a quagmire, which will probably never be solved. I personally am pro-choice, but I agree that the pro-choice position needs to be revised. Pro-choicers are so scared to allow any revisions to this policy and will not consider the position that late-term abortions should be considered in a different light than early-term abortions (except in the case of mother's safety). This is the only real possibility for the two sides to compromise.

4. The Left constantly pounds on Republicans on their energy policies and our dependance on foreign oil, yet they continue to listen to the extreme environmentalists and oppose drilling in Anwar (spelling?). The GreanPeace nazis continually fight this tooth and nail and then gripe about foreign oil dependancies. What they don't discuss is the fact that this area is a completely desolate and useless area of Alaska comparable to the stepps of Russia. Yes, it will be good to have electric/hydrogen/garbage powered cars, but the technology, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness isn't there yet. So they need to put a cork in the rhetoric and let us tap a resource that is there gathering snow and dust.

5. Tragedies happen in life and my heart goes out to people that suffer from all of the medical tragedies that afflict people. But, people need to be careful about using this as justification for things like universal healthcare. There is a price-tag for that promise the democrats are making about everyone having healthcare equivalent to what congress enjoys. Right now, we can't afford it. We have safety nets for those that are truly needy. Perhaps those safety nets need to be modified/updated...I can't speak to that. However, I cringe when I hear people use personal tragedy as the driver for socialistic policies. We need to be looking at policies such as group plans for small-business owners and individuals that will allow them to get the same buying power as large companies. We should not be looking at the government to be footing the tab. When we do that, we are again going down the road of expecting governement and the taxpayers to do what we should be doing for ourselves.

I could go on, but I'm tired and have to get home to the family.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 06:47 PM

You see... Having a real dialog is impossible on this. Who was the President when Cheney worked for Haliburton ? Bill Clinton... So, in order for this to fly, you have to think Bill Clinton was in on this with Cheyney... "porked out at the government trough" ...

Cheyney's total contribution was based on 1.2 mill in income ... and he donated more than his entire VP salary...

The vitriol could go on forever... Kerry's donations amount to .025 % of The family fortune...

Anyway... It is not really appropriate for me to comment further... I am not really a "regular" here... please ignore all my posts... and enjoy your speakers
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 07:33 PM

"Anyway... It is not really appropriate for me to comment further... I am not really a "regular" here... please ignore all my posts... and enjoy your speakers"

Craig, newbies and old-timers are equally welcome to contribute to these forums. All input is welcome...even the lunatic leftists. Plus, you can't give up that easy.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 07:58 PM

Hey Craig, I hope you stick around.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 08:19 PM

I don't see any contradiction at all, assuming the baby is an individual with rights and freedoms that all individuals should have. The freedom to kill others wantonly isn't part of any sane person's philosophy I hope.
I'm still "pro-choice", but only early, early, early in the pregnancy.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 08:27 PM

Craigsub...

In reply to:

BigJohn... If our bodies are not within any government regulations... then...

1. Prostitution should be legal.
2. Drug use should be legal.
3. No woman should be prosecuted for harming a baby because of drug or alcohol use.
4. Seat belt laws should be repealed.




1) yep
2) yep
3) you may have me there
4) yep

I guess it boils down to seeing the world in a different way. In your attempt to catch BigJohn in a pickle, you've listed things that I actually agree with.

I guess that's redundant...now having read BigJohn's response as well. Oh well. I guess it just adds to my point.




Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 08:48 PM

I'm sorry I offended you, Scott, but if you will read my post again (carefully, as I just did ), you will see that I did not in any way infer that the liberal position is philosophically baseless, or that people who hold that view have not reasoned their way through to those positions. I merely stated that the philosophical core to modern liberalism is, IMO, Marx.

I did say (and I'll stand by it) that many of the young folks out there - like the moronic protestors in NY, and a few wonderful but confused members of this forum - may not realize that to advocate for gay rights, drug legalization, abortion rights, etc..., while simultaneously advocating redistributive tax policy, strict limits on the development and/or use of private property, environmental restrictions, etc..., does not reflect a consistent philosophical point of view. You are either FOR individual freedoms OR you are FOR government regulation of individual behavior for the greater good. Everybody seems to want to pick and choose which freedoms they want to keep for themselves and which ones they want to take from others.

Who's writing that stuff for you, 2x6? It is just too good!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 09:45 PM

In reply to:

...but your subtle implied comparison of Zionism to Islamo-Fascims is without historical or rational force.


I meant no such thing. This subtle implication was fabricated in your own mind.

However, since you brought it up, if Israel's nationalism is founded solely upon religion (e.g. God says this land is ours), then it is indeed flawed. Why? Because other religions think the exact same thing, and far be it from you or me to tell them they are wrong. (That would be culturally insensitive, of course.)
Posted by: ScottA

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 10:39 PM

BigWill,

No need to apologize. I did not take what you said as a personal attack on me. Craigsub took care of that. I just felt like you were clumping anyone with liberal ideas into a category of mouth puppets. I have formed my views over time and through experience. You are right that many younger people, such as some of the protesters, are oblivious to what is actually going on. But I see that from both sides.

I have both liberal views and conservative views. I classify myself as independent and will vote for who I think will do the best job. Period. I am conservative in that I think government should cut spending and let me keep more of my check. I think the major cutd should come in foreign aid though. We need to worry about our country first.

When it comes to the environment, I am deffinitely more liberal. We are too dependant on oil and natural gas. We need to develop alternative fuels. We have the technology in many cases already, but our goverment does not push those alternatives.

Even though I work in law enforcement, I believe some drugs should be legalized. We create problems by making marijuana illegal just as we did when we made another drug, alcohol, illegal during prohibition. It did not work because the demand was always there. We created crime by creating bootleggers and organized crime organizations. Our jails and prisons in Indiana are all overcrowded. We are releasing people early to make room. I would rather use the room for serious criminals. I use an example. I had a man in Court that molested three young girls. A class C felony in out state. He received an 8 year sentence. Another man that was dealing in a lookalike substance, not even a drug, but powdered sugar, received a 15 year sentence. You tell me who should be locked up longer.

I think this nation is so polarized into democrats/republicans, liberals/conservatives that nothing effective can be done. We need to work together to fix al the problems or we never will.
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 10:52 PM

In reply to:

1) The constitution is not meant to deny any group of people equal rights.




I will agree


In reply to:

2) Stem Cell research should be funded.




It is, obviously not to the amount of everyones liking.


In reply to:

3) If you don't believe that the US's role in the world is to topple any and all governments that we dislike.




This belief is a based on twisting a disagreement of our actions in Iraq. I would agree we should not topple every wrong government, but this war on terror may and will demand we put an end to governments that support terror. Yes Iran and Sierra are on notice.


In reply to:

4) If you want to keep Church and State separate.




/sigh, I'm not religious but its completely obvious to me GW is a religious man but in no way does he merge church and state.


In reply to:

5) Supreme court justice appointments.




Absolutely! We totally need to remove judges that CREATE law instead of interpret law. This could be the single most important issue that doesn't get enough discussion.


In reply to:

6) If you believe in the U.N. and what it stands for.




Well I definitely don't support what the U.N. stands for... which is blatent anti-US policies. As stated here before there are more dictatorship governments represented there than any other. EVERY government there is only concerned about what is in their own best interest. The Sudan situation PROVES this point perfectly. It's a no brainer, go in and stop the killing.


In reply to:

7) If you are pro-choice.




I am completely for choice, it just seems the baby is the one without the choice to decide to live or die.


In reply to:

8) If you believe in actively seeking and funding alternative fuel sources to help cut our dependancy on foreign oil, rather than simply drilling in our own national parks.




More could be done on this issue, I won't argue it.


In reply to:

9) You want a President that will respect our allies.




What "allies" do we disrespect? I believe its the other way around here.

Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 11:29 PM

Scott... I did not attack you, I took offense at your words. "These life experiences lead me to be a liberal, someone who cares about other human beings."

That means someone who is NOT liberal does NOT care.

In an ironic twist... My wife needed to go to the Hospital tonight... Allergic reaction to some food. There was a sign in the ER ....:

ITS THE LAW. IF YOU ENTER THE ER, WE MUST GIVE YOU THE BEST CARE WE CAN PROVIDE, INCLUDING PROVIDING AMBULANCE SERVICE TO ANOTHER MEDICAL FACILITY, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY NOR INSURANCE TO PAY FOR TREATMENTS RECEIVED. WE ARE GUARANTEED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO BE REIMBURSED FOR SERVICES RENDERED."

It does get tiring to be told how unfeeling we are because of all the people without insurance.

I also know scores of people, from business owners to factory workers to teachers to engineers. I have NEVER heard someone say those TRULY in need should not get the help he/she needs. My bride is fine, BTW...:)
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 09/01/04 11:59 PM

Good to hear.

Talking about life experiences (I apologize to whomever heard this story in a PM already), I was shopping in a Vegas grocery store a few years ago, avoided the expensive beer I really wanted and decided on a beer that was on sale. Immediately in front of me at the check-out stand was a couple - mid 40s probably - buying all kinds of name brand stuff: Hagen Daz, Evian, filet mignon, etc... The lady paid for her fancy groceries with vouchers or food stamps or something while the man whipped out a wad of bills and paid for a $30 bottle of VSOP with cash! I felt like I was watching a crime take place.
I've only had Hagen Daz 3 times, and I've never had Evian.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 02:10 AM

In reply to:

I've only had Hagen Daz 3 times, and I've never had Evian.


You might be missing out on the ice cream, but you're definitely not missing out on the water. Read "Evian" backwards and that's what you have to be to pay that much for water.
Posted by: ScottA

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 09:12 AM

Craigsub,

Sorry, apparently I took the "YOU" in capital letters differently than you intended. You are correct in that a hospital cannot refuse emergency care to anyone in need. I understand that, my wife works in the medical field.

I definitely do not think all conservatives are uncaring. That would be ridiculous. There are also many uncarring liberals. There are always those that worry only about themselves.

I get tired of hearing how every individual that needs assistance is some kind of evil lowlife scum. Yes there are abuses, but there are those that truly need assistance. The handicapped did not choose to be that way, but if not for many programs they would find it difficult to survive. I described my fathers case and frankly it pisses me off to hear people basically say it is his fault and he should receive no assistance. We tend to focus on the abuses in any program and assume everyone is like those who abuse. That is not the case.

As a kid, I worked in a convenience store and saw the same abuse with foodstamps. People would by food with the stamps and save their cash for alcohol and cigarettes. Clearly an abuse of the system. But I have seen others that do work, but need foodstamps to help feed their families.

Like I said before, things are not black and white no matter how much we would like them to be.

Scott
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 11:32 AM

Food Stamps are an example of what's wrong with this government. I'm sure that the food stamp program costs billions of dollars, with at least half that figure the cost of the beaurocracy that administers the program. Why not just place barrels of beans and rice in every grocery store that anybody can take for free? Nobody would starve, and this would cost a fraction of what the food stamp program costs.

Mark
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 12:28 PM

In reply to:

I get tired of hearing how every individual that needs assistance is some kind of evil lowlife scum.




I get tired of hearing how every individual that needs assistance is a victim. IMO, most people who wind up on welfare are there because of their own choices. True, most handicapped did not choose to be that way, but when you start making alcohol and drug abuse a "handicap", your argument breaks down.

If I want to have a child, I have to think about whether my income level will support that child, and how I am going to pay for its food, clothing and shelter. These realities affect my reproductive freedom. Suggest that welfare recipients be encouraged to stop having children, and you are compared unfavorably to a Nazi.

I am tired of being told that i am "rich". Whenever a tax cut is proposed, the left cries "it's for the rich!" Well guess what? There is no such thing as a tax cut for the poor. The poor don't pay taxes. The poor get tax credits. Low income workers can get a refund that is much bigger than their tax withheld. It's called the "earned income credit". You can't cut taxes for people who pay negative tax.

Before World War II, government spending averaged about 3% of the GNP. Today that figure is 40%. Think about that. 40 cents of every dollar generated in this country is consumed by the government. Some want to add the cost of one of the largest industries in the nation, namely health care, to that number. This would be an absolute disaster. Can you think of anything that the government does more efficiently and at a lower cost than private industry?

Mark
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 12:39 PM

In reply to:

I am tired of being told that i am "rich". Whenever a tax cut is proposed, the left cries "it's for the rich!" Well guess what? There is no such thing as a tax cut for the poor. The poor don't pay taxes. The poor get tax credits. Low income workers can get a refund that is much bigger than their tax withheld. It's called the "earned income credit". You can't cut taxes for people who pay negative tax.



I don't think most people who cry about tax cuts for the rich are suggesting that the tax cuts need to be for the poor. As you point out, the truly poor pay little or no taxes. It's the bulk of the middle class that's pissed. Cutting taxes of dividend income was CLEARLY a free pass for the ultra wealthy to get even wealthier. In fact, since that tax cut went into effect, many, many CEO's and other corporate big wigs have cut their "salaries" and given themselves huge dividend payments.

While I don't really agree with the estate tax, the cut again benefitted only the ultra rich. What most people don't realize is that the first $200,000 of inheritence was never taxed before. It's only the amount OVER $200,000 that was taxed. So again...who benefited from that? I dispise "trickle down economics". America benefits as middle America benefits.


Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 03:50 PM

Bigwill- i can totally relate to your story. few weeks back i am at the grocery store and the family in front of me(with their 5 kids) had 2 carts of merchandise.. the funny part was, one cart was food, the other was hygeine stuff(detergent, soap, school supplies, etc). they pay cash for the non-food, and then whip out a government food card for the rest.. and in the food basket was, $8 dollar a pound T-bone steaks, ben and jerry ice cream, deli grade sliced cold cuts and cheeses, expensive cereals, and all 'name brand' products. it pissed me off, cause i dont get to eat the high end, name brand food.. and i sure dont have the government paying for it. they should put restrictions on it like they do the WIC programs.

i was fumming when i went home that day. and went home and made dinner.. generic rice and beans, and ground round meatloaf.. some T-bones would have sure been nice..

bigjohn
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 05:37 PM

Spiff... Acutally, If you have a really good tax attorney (like one who is also a CPA).. You can get around the majority of estate taxes. The other thing to remember is you paid income taxes on all your earning, then the government wants to take half your money again after you die... like being dead was not already tough enough.


Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 05:41 PM

Like I said, I don't agree with the estate tax at all. My point was that the new cut was again aimed at helping the overtly rich.


Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 05:43 PM

Spiff,

Have you ever taken a look at the Tax Burden Statistics or the Breakdown of Taxpayers? I hear Liberals often speak with disdain for "the wealthy" and any tax relief that the evil Republicans want to give them. However, what you never hear them admit is the fact that the top 40% of wagearners in the US carry 85% of the tax burden. The top 10% of wageearners carry almost 50% of that burden.

You guys piss and moan about the wealthy and all the perks they get from tax relief....but who is the one paying the tab for this thing? I am one of those that fall in that fourth quartile and I'm frankly tired of paying so much damn taxes. I have student loan payments, my kids future, and my retirement to figure out how to afford. However, the big disgusting government suck-machine draws a huge chunk of my paycheck each month to fund all of this eternal crap that the spend-hounds dream up.

You are about to type in a response talking about Bush's spending and I agree with you. However, your guy is the undisputed king of the Senate Liberals and he has absolutely NO plans on lessening the burden on me and my family. Bush may have his spending policies out of whack, but he's the best chance of the two to put a stop to this eternal mission of the Left to pull well-earned money out of my pocket and distribute it to the "downtrodden masses"....not to mention the fact that he is the only one of the two that truly knows what it means to be commander and chief of the armed forces of this nation and the protector of our nation from the threats from abroad.

(end speech)
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 05:46 PM

Now, how about that Zell Miller?....blistering!!!! Hoo-Rah!!! It's about time someone had the cahones to take off the mittens and tell it like it is.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 07:30 PM

In reply to:

not to mention the fact that he is the only one of the two that truly knows what it means to be commander and chief of the armed forces of this nation and the protector of our nation from the threats from abroad.



Huh? You're holding it against Kerry that he's not currently President? That makes no sense whatsoever. The only reason GW "...truly knows what it means to be commander and chief of the armed forces of this nation..." is because he's currently holding that title. How much did he know about it 4 years ago? Squat. Just like every other Presidential hopeful. (except perhaps Grant and Ike)


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 07:37 PM

"The handicapped did not choose to be that way, but if not for many programs they would find it difficult to survive."

My wife just recently quit her state job working with the severely developmentally disabled, so I reckon it is safe to bash the agency for which she worked.
Huge amounts of money are wasted on programs for people who have IQs lower than your cat's. All those people need, IMO, is to be well cared for - clean, safe, fed, etc... What we do instead is waste millions and millions of dollars on feel good programs (vocational training, horse therapy, etc...) and pay out millions more to settle or defend frivilous lawsuits based on the IDEA.

Every gov't employee knows that the purpose of their particular agency is the expansion of that agency's budget and payroll first and foremost, and the delivery of services a distant second. It is the same story across the board in every agency: health and human services, education, corrections, welfare, motor vehicles, etc...

We would be much better off if families and communities took care of their own, rather than turn to gov't programs.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 07:41 PM

In reply to:

I am one of those that fall in that fourth quartile and I'm frankly tired of paying so much damn taxes.



So am I (if I'm reading that thing right)...and you know what GW's going to do for us? Jack Squat. NOTHING. What makes you think otherwise?

Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 08:02 PM

What I'm holding against Kerry is that he has spent the past 15 years trying to recklessly gutt defense spending while we were in the midst of the Cold War. Then, once Russia had crumbled, he used it as a justification to cease all modernization of our military. You cannot read through the list of weapons systems that he voted against and truthfully say that he has a sound understanding of what it takes to defend this country and fully support our troops. The tomahawks that he voted against saved thousands of American lives by minimizing the level of combat our military had to undertake during the first Gulf War. The Apache helicopter and the Bradley vehicles that he voted not to fund are the very tools that made the initial stages of this Gulf War so successful and minimized US casualties. We all want defense spending to be reduced over time, but Kerry has taken an incredible reckless and illogical approach to this position....one which endangers our nation and the very soldiers that he wishes to command. Bush may frustrate many on various fronts, but he would never take such a ignorant/simplistic/reckless tack when it comes to the men and women of our armed forces and the people of this nation.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 08:07 PM

I'm not sure how he voted regarding the big tank we now have (the one that seems virtually impervious to everything and can go 60mph), but I remember many Democrats saying that we didn't need them and the key to all future wars will be airpower. Only partially correct. Those tanks are worth every penny.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 08:11 PM

Spiff,

If you are in the 4 quartile, you are "the rich" that your party villifies. At bare minimum, you are the top end of the beloved middle class. If you are indeed in this segment, you carry your share of the vast majority of the taxes of this nation. You are a primary contibutor to this disgusting menace of a government. If you are indeed a part of this segment, your party is only really concerned with latching onto the utter that the government has strapped you with. As a member of this group of society, your only hope for reducing your tax burden is the party that seeks to reduce overall taxes....and I hate to tell you that it is not your party. Your boy may share yours and my views about social issues such as gay marriage, but he sure as hell doesn't share our desire to keep more money in our own pockets...money to be used for our own retirement, our children's educations, and our own general use. Then again, he doesn't have to worry about those thing with his cash cow laying next to him.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 08:16 PM

I didn't hear the M1 discussed either today or last night, but it wouldn't surprise me if he voted against it. Yes, that awesome machine is worth every penny, just like the Apache and the Bradlies. Oh....and don't forget the F14s. We really didn't need those, did we? John Kerry is a pacifist. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not what we need in the White House. The world is way too dangerous right now to have a dove and not a hawk in the Oval Office (his terms).
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 08:19 PM

Again...do you not understand that any tax cuts that GW makes, will have ZERO effect on your paycheck? Your wallet is not going to get fatter with GW in office. You're only kidding yourself if you think it will.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 08:55 PM

He gave me a $600 check a couple years ago. When was the last time an elected official had that kind of impact on your daily life?
Posted by: md55

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 08:55 PM

I would also add that while researching the other day, I came accross the GOP website showing Kerry's votes on those weapons systems. I noticed the votes were grouped together on the the same few days. He was voting on larger appropriations bills in which those were included. And then with a little more research I learned that others were also calling for cuts in those weapons programs: President George F. Bush and Secratary of Defense Dick Cheney. Always good to fact check in the midst of a ferrocious political(propaganda) campaign. I don't take anything I hear at face value, in fact most of the time, whatever is repeated over and over in campaigns like this I find that more likely the opposite is true.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 09:13 PM

I actually got a $300 check, and to be honest I think our country would have been better off if they'd kept the money. What serious effect is a $300 check in individual hands going to do for the economy?


Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 09:19 PM

Spiff,

If I'm understanding what I find out there on the Internet and that site I posted, the name associated w/ Bush's tax reform was "Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act" (EGTRRA, 2001). Take a look at this table siting the Tax Burden Distribution Pre & Post Tax Reform. If I'm reading this right, I see a grand in my pocket that the blood-suckers can't spend on their special interest-driven pork projects. If you look at this table, you can see the distribution of the benefit of that tax reform. Looking at both of these, it sure as heck doesn't look to me like the only ones receiving the benefit is the uber-rich. But then again, to tell this story in the true light would be less effective as a Democrat scare tactic. God forbid a Republican did something that benefitted all involved. Perhaps you should be asking yourself why your party skews the data so dramatically to suit their purposes. Then again, they have been doing that for years. Trust me, I used to buy into it hook,line, and sinker before I decided to check the facts myself and discovered the deception.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 09:22 PM

Spiff... When 125,000,000 people get $300... $37,500,000,000 gets spent. That is 37.5 BILLION dollars... By the way, I plugged in the average increase in weekly take home pay for our employees when the new tax laws went into effect... they averaged $27 per week MORE take home pay. Take out the entry level jobs, and the increase went to $41 per week...
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 09:32 PM

"I actually got a $300 check, and to be honest I think our country would have been better off if they'd kept the money. What serious effect is a $300 check in individual hands going to do for the economy?"

I think that I understand you a little better after reading this. You truly do believe that our government can better manage our money. You truly believe that our government has any shred of efficiency worth that level of trust. How many "Fleecing of America" and programs of the like do you need to see before you realize that they are completely inept at managing their affairs and your money. Whatever they actually appropriate to the local organizations is pillaged completely along the way until there is next to nothing for the cause for which the funds were destined. The only money that reaches it's destination is federal subsidies, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is nothing more than a handout from the government trough.....a pure example of redistribution of wealth. It makes want to puke thinking about the utter waste in government and it ticks me off to no end to know that people still live with blinders on and believe that the system works.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 09:36 PM

Craig....you just couldn't stay away. Good to have u back.

I have to agree, I wouldn't mind another $600 buck in my pocket right now. I would pay some bills off and probably spend the rest on daily expenses and some goodies for the kid.....oh, wait....Isn't that contributing to the economy.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 09:46 PM

Turbo... Several VERY nice forum members extended an invitation to stay... with hosts like that, it would be rude to leave... Here is another interesting site...

www.det.state.ri.us/lmi/lausus/usadj.htm

It shows total labor pool, total jobs, and unemployment rate going back to 1978. The media keeps hammering on job losses... in january, 2001.... there were 137,790,000 jobs ... today, there are 139,660,000 jobs... that is an increase of 1,870,000 jobs in the 3.5 years... Considering all we have been through.....

The source, by the way, is the Bureau of Labor Statistics....


Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 10:20 PM

A check for $600 from Uncle Sam and I'd probably be able to rationalize a new EP600 ... that wouldn't help the US economy, but would shake my house.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 10:26 PM

Sure it would help... It would add to the Canadian economy, so they have more money to come to the U.S. for health care when they cannot get into a hospital there...
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 10:30 PM

Ahh! Thank you Craigsub! It would be a good thing!
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/02/04 11:48 PM

Craig....do us a favor and repost the link. It doesn't seem to be working. I tried to get there via the main site, but couldn't replicate the path.

FYI....If you want to post it as a hyperlink, do the following:

1. [url]www.yahoo.com[/url
(Add a bracket to end - makes the link clickable)
2. [url=full link including the http://]DOG[/url] - displays "DOG" with hyperlink to yahoo

If I'm not making sense, you can see this under the FAQ
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 12:27 AM

TD... I will work on it tomorrow...
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 01:44 AM

I just wanted to say I thought GW gave a very good speech tonite. Of course the left will shrug it off as more lies and such but I'm hoping the fair minded moderates will hear it and understand that this man is not the devil protrayed by some.

I stayed up to catch Kerry's response... he left Edwards try to talk smack first, they virtually had to make up stuff... saying the RNC was all about mud slinging and such, um I watched most of the RNC, they definitely went after Kerry but I don't see how you could say it was dirty (Zell MAYBE but hell, hes a Democrat )

Furthermore, Kerry pulled the "they didn't serve" card out, Talk about hypocracy (accusing RNC of being dirty then saying that). I think that will backfire, esp considering several times during the RNC Cheany and Bush said nothing but good things about Kerry's service. Kerry is desperate and its starting to show big time. I can't wait for teh debates.

Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 07:08 AM

As far as the rebates go, one of my major issues with the govt. is the deficit that we continue to build up as a country. I'm not going to argue with an extra couple hundred bucks in my pocket, but I don't know how W could give that kind of money out to so many people when we owe so much. I would have been fine with the govt. keeping it, as long as there was a stipulation that it would not go towards any more spending on programs and would go directly to paying down the deficit.

I'd also like to see the govt forced to balance their books for future spending and actually plan for at least a small surplus every year so that eventually they can at least have a plan to pay off this enourmous debt. Any business would have filed Chapter 11 long ago.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 07:21 AM

Zarak - Let not your heart be troubled... In the last 20 Years, yes, the national debt has gone up $5 trillion dollars... but the wealth of the country has gone up $25 trillion... a net $20 trillion increase.

Look at it under two lights... You buy a lot worth $150,000, and borrow $100,000 ... then you build on it, and now owe $600,000, but the house is worth $2.5 million ... is that good ?

Also... If you could wipe out the debt, but lose the $25 trillion in increased equity... the country would be in a depression that makes the 30's look like a picnic.

Oh... and the entire deficit is due to increased spending... not tax rate cuts. (note... I did not say tax cuts... we brought in MORE revenue this year than in 2000)
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 08:17 AM

"Let no your heart be troubled" - Craig, you crack me up....only three hours a day, that's all he asks.

Zarak - You're right about the government needing to balance it's books. However, wartime spending is always going to send the budget into the red, as it is never budgeted. Bush made a decision to follow through on his pledge to reduce taxes and try to help infuse the economy. This also helped to put the budget in the red. The key is if and how he is going to offset that imbalance. My fingers are tightly crossed hoping that he takes his second term( ) and focuses on reducing unnecessary spending.

Inane - Thanks for giving the report on Kerry's post-convention koombaya session. Fox had given a preview of what Kerry was going to focus on, so we decided to pack it in. It sounds like he held true to form....what an idiot. After a convention like that, the blistering criticism of his Senate record, and Bush's strong speech, how does he think that continuing to focus on war-records is the way to go? Multiple speakers at the convention called him out solely upon his Senate record and he returns fire based upon Bush and Cheeney's Vietnam records.....both of which have been dealt with ad nosium.

I may be wrong, but it sounds like Kerry is coming a bit unhinged right now. He tried to ride the hate-Bush wave into the final inning and he's come up dry. The Republicans tortured him on his voting record and his penchant for indecisiveness and contradiction. Then, Bush came out and outlined an aggressive domestic agenda and reinforced his position on foreign affairs. In the face of all that, we have John Kerry, his purple hearts, his running mate who is the poster-boy for what is wrong with class-action law, and we have his wife that is more interested in talking about herself than her husband. The Wizard stands before you yelling loudly about his war record and telling you not to look behind that curtain over there, knowing that what's behind there is a scared little man trying to sneak his way into power.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 08:57 AM

Guys - The employment data can be found on the bureau of labor statistics... and the "job loss" data is another form of government base line data gathering. Without counting August's soon to be relesed data, the economy has gained 1,870,000 jobs since January, 2001.

So... Why do we hear about the loss of 1.1 million jobs ?

Simple... 3,000,000 people have entered the workforce since January 1, 2001... So unemployment has gone up by 1.1 million people...

So... even though 1.9 million more people are working... we lost jobs.

Gotta love how the government thinks...
Posted by: Zarak

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 09:02 AM

What makes you think that Bush will focus on reducing unnecessary spending, or is it just hoping? I haven't seen anything from him to make me think that he will, but if it is in fact the case that he will I would feel better about him being in there for another term.

Craigsub, as far as the US being worth so much more, I never looked at it that way. Then again, I haven't seen those numbers before that our net has grown so much. Where do those figures come from?

I would still think that we should be able to balance things and have that net continue to grow without growing the debt part along with it. I see trillions of dollars, a debt number which is too large for me to even comprehend (who among us is ever going to see near that kind of $), and I have to think that something's got to be done about it eventually. It's the people that make up that $25 trillion in worth, but the govt. that owes the 5 trillion (or whatever the numbers were) correct? They certainly aren't about to take the 10k per head(or whatever it would break down to) from the people to pay off all the debt, so it sounds like the govt. is still in debt without a way to pay that money back, even if the country's worth has gone up.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 09:13 AM

Zarak, There was an economist talking about this on the radio... Just in Real Estate, we have seen $13 trillion in growth... that, of course, includes the corporate world.


Posted by: ThunderRd

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 09:37 AM

I discovered by accident that you can left click to highlight an address then right click on the box and Google Search is an option. If it doesn't bring you directly there it sets up the link. The less typing the better for me.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 09:52 AM

TD- you have got to be kidding me with this zell miller crap. he is no more a democrat than you are.. that is just an angry, mean old man who is off his medication. his yelling and spitting and ranting just affirmed to me how desperately the republicans wanted and needed a scape-goat to open the can of worms on kerry. that guy was and is a complete tool. about as useful as a refrigerator in an igloo. give me a break.

did you bother to see his interview with chris matthews later on that night after his speech? this guy is a complete moron. his baffoon speech and dialect were even worse than george w(never thought that would be possible), and his views are sooooo dated. he even told chris matthews, that "i wish this was the old days where i could just take a switch to ya".. are you kidding me.. a grown man saying that to another grown man..

someone get this guy some valium and sit him down. he made himself and the state of georgia look bad.. very bad!!

bigjohn
Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 09:53 AM

I'm glad the conventions are over and am anxious to see if these candidates can get beyond the attack ads. The vice presidential debates should be interesting, I can't imagine two men more different than Cheney an Edwards.

An issue that is receiving more statewide attention here is education. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" program is not viewed very positively in this state by either the Republicans or Democrats. I'm faced with sending my oldest child to kindergarten this fall. We're pretty committed to the public school system, both my wife and I went to public schools which prepared us well for college and careers. Our neighborhood public elementary school is celebrating the fact that 60-70 percent of the students are now passing basic proficiency tests in reading and math. 60-70 percent passing doesn't instill much confidence in me, 30 to 40 percent are failing. Funding for the public schools is a huge issue-teachers are faced with buying basic supplies out of their own pocket. I'm now understanding why so many people in our area send their kids to private schools. Is this similar to the rest of the country? I don't feel like our local schools should be funded by the federal gov't, but our governor is slashing and capping budgets across the board. More parental involvement, financially I mean, seems to be the answer, but in our city we've got open enrollment in public schools meaning kids are bused in from all over the city. Income levels for about 40 percent of the kids in our school are at or below the poverty level-meaning those parents probably aren't going to contribute in any meaningful way. It's a tough issue with long term ramifications.

Glad you hung around Craig.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 10:21 AM

Education is a funny topic... We send our kids to a school which takes NO funding... no church affiliation, not $1 in government $$$ anywhere. We pay about $7000 per year per child... The last I looked, in public education, appx. $12,000 per student is spent... and we are seeing some amazing results in this private school... Vouchers for private school would work wonders...
Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 10:43 AM

The cheapest private school close to us has a tuition of $17,000. The private schools here are academically rigorous and very successful. If need be we'll spend the money. Charter schools are popping up throughout our state, some successful, some not so great. Vouchers sound to me like the right answer, but in this state the idea of vouchers is like many other issues very polarizing. My wife and I have an admittedly idealistic view of public schools, feeling that if good people don't get involved, the schools won't get better. On the other hand, it bothers me to send my daughter, who at 5 already has some rudimentary reading and math skills, into a school where she may not get challenged academically as the teachers deal with issues like teaching English to a fraction of the class who need to learn English as a second language.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 10:48 AM

Public schools will never get better as long as the NEA is in control of the teachers... Parental involvement will likely get your child ostracized. We have a VERY close friend who is superintendent of schools in a fairly well off region here. He cannot tell a teacher anything. Period. A teacher in today's oublic schools answers to noone, especially "ignorant" parents... it is really sad... but true.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 11:43 AM

Zarak - It's wishful thinking. He is cutting taxes, yet proposing new programs. Therefore, unless he wants to get beaten up by the left for proposing more than we can affor, he might have to consider finally cutting other more frivalous spending....at least that's my hope.

BigJohn - Dude, ya gotta step back from the party line for a second and be objective. When you do so, you realize that Chris Matthew is a complete jacka$$. Zell was rev'd up based upon an ambush Matthews performed on an author resently. If you look up the text of that interview, Matthews was completely overly aggressive, disrespectful, and genuinely disgraceful as a journalist. He never let her finish her sentances, he took everything she said and distorted it or took it out of context.....he was a menace. She finally left the show during the break. She was originally on the show to discuss a completely different topic from her book, but was roped into talking about the swift-boat think simply because she was a conservative. Matthew's pinned her down as a representative of the President, which was wholely inaccurate. Matthews wanted to make a point for his boy Kerry and decided to lambast an innocent writer who had no relationship to the issue or any of the involved parties.

So, that brings us to Zell Miller. I ask, have you read his book? If you had, you might understand him better. He is a Democrat from the days before these extremist liberals took over the party. He is from the days of great moderate Democrats like JFK. He went to Washington to fill a post vacated by the death of the elected Senator. Once he got there, he came to understand what is going on in the Democratic party and who is running the show. His unwillingness to tow the party line and serve as the puppet of the unions and the special interest groups has forced him to the fringe of the party. His disgust with the situaiton in Washington led him to write his book, which pulls up the skirt of the Democratic party for all to see the dirty laundry. Because of that, the party has villified him and done whatever possible to discredit him and paint him as a loon.

It is with this understand that I suggest you think twice about writing him off like you have. Miller has the balls to stand on principals instead of falling in line with the rest of the crooks in Congress.

As far as the speech goes, someone had to tell the American public exactly what Kerry's true record was....not his damn war record. Miller didn't pussy-foot around the issue like everyone has been up until now. He has every right to be ticked off, since Kerry represents everything he dispises about what his party has become. He went from supporting a moderate Democrate of the likes of Clinton (key note 1982 I think) to watching his party be overrun with far-left socialists like Kerry and Kennedy and all the unions that they covet so much.

Finally, I want to go back to Chris Matthews. Zell did snap a little harder than he should, but I think that is was a miscommunication due to the loud crowd behind Matthews. Matthews asked a question about the anti-Republican rhetoric about starving our kids, etc and Zell thought that he was accusing Zell of using that language in reference to Kerry (worth finding speech online and re-listening to - makes more sense when you listen to it again). From that point on, Zell got pretty pissed off and went a little far. However, prior to that, he did something that needed to be done.....he basically told Matthews to shut up and let him answer the questions. Matthew's tried to bully Zell like he did that author and Zell took issue with that and put Matthew in his place. Matthews thinks his Crossfire (or whateve it's called) mentality is acceptable during civil political dialog and he's wrong.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 11:51 AM

For once, I think that I am going to keep quiet on an issue. I have degrees in Education and I used to teach high school here in Georgia. I also grew up in the Northeast. So, I have too much to say. Plus, I wouldn't want to tarnish my rep any further by exposing how jaded I am about my experiences.
Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 11:51 AM

Miller acted as the Republican shill to stir the pot without giving the Democrats a Republican to point the finger at. A very unscientific poll take here at our state showed that Millers performance turned off more undecided voters for the Bush cause than it gained. He preached to the choir. A very entertaining performance, but I'd rather get my entertainment from Michael Moore or Rush Limbaugh and please don't equate him with JFK. Last time he spoke in Madison Square Garden he was endorsing Bill Clinton-flip flop?
Posted by: INANE

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 12:17 PM

Why not equate Zell to JFK and others? If Democrats still believed in principles like JFK, Rosevelt and others, I'd vote that way in a heartbeat.

Put yourself in Zell's shoes, if your party was taken over by socialists and even communists, wouldn't you be pissed off too?

Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 12:25 PM

In reply to:

Matthews thinks his Crossfire (or whateve it's called) mentality is acceptable during civil political dialog and he's wrong



but i am sure you find it perfectly OK when o'reilly does it?? you call matthews a jacka$$, but i suppose you think o'reilly is a saint? they are the same guy, jusyt on different sides of the fence..

the interviewer isnt the issue, its the one responding(or lack there of) to the questions. miller made himself look like a complete idiot, and truly embarrassed himself. he put himself in the position to be the republican stool pigeon, and the convention loved every minute of it.. after all, they look at zell and say, "see there, inside every democrat, there is a republican just trying to get out".. i think overall it was a bad move by the republicans and rather tasteless in its intentions.

BTW- off topic a bit.. the TV reporter i like the most that i think is "fair and balanced" on both sides is joe scarborough. he is young and has a point of view that is more 'my generation'.. check him out sometime

bigjohn
Posted by: jorge016

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 12:30 PM

Socialists and communists!! I come from the home of the late Paul Wellstone, the most liberal voice in the Senate for the past 20 years. I hardly ever agreed with him but had enough dealings with him and his office to know that he was the most principled honorable politicians I have ever met. His detractors put him down as a socialist/communist as well. I know there has to be some balance within the parties and Miller is on the far right fringe of the Democratic party. I don't think he speaks for many in his party and certainly did them a disservice with his performance. He reminds me of our Senator Norm Coleman a liberal anti-war protesting Democrat for almost 30 years (only 6 years ago he campaigned for the despised liberal Wellstone) who switched parties when faced with a tough mayoral primary campaign in Saint Paul. Now he has his lips permanently chapped from kissing Bush's butt. I know political beliefs evolve through the years, but the major flip-flops smack more of politics than sincere beliefs.
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 01:01 PM

In reply to:

I actually got a $300 check, and to be honest I think our country would have been better off if they'd kept the money.




So, did you send the check back?

Mark
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 01:20 PM

craigsub, you are obviously an intelligent and well informed person on a broad range of issues. The teacher union leadership and the education elites do indeed suck, but scrapping public schools rather than reforming them is a bad idea. The reforms should be allowed at the local level, free from the control of the politicians, and the changes should be made by the experts - the teachers.

Why do you feel that a teacher is unqualified to make decisions regarding what he teaches, or how he teaches it? I have two credentials, have taught for 11 years, passed a plethora of competency tests, spent roughly $40K on my education, participated in countless staff development activities and even now continue to go to school myself. But you would prefer that politicians, administrators controlled by local school boards, OR PARENTS! be in charge of making decisions for me in the classroom? Why did I spend so much time, effort, and money to become an expert in education? Did you tell your wife's doctor how to treat her allergic reaction the other night? Would you tell your attorney which cases to cite as precedents? Your tax advisor? etc...

I won't bore you guys with a dissertation of what's wrong with public schools, or why private schools have inherent advantages that frequently lead to greater success (it has nothing to do with administrative control), or how most administrators are failed teachers. Unless, of course, you really want to know.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 01:36 PM

Truthfully, I'm not a big fan of O'Reily's either. He does the same crap. Alan combs does this to a lesser degree....he isn't abusive, but he loves to interupt speakers when they start to make a point he doesn't like.

I much prefer people with the temperment of Sean Hannity. You may disagree with everything that he espouses, but he is never rude to you. He may crush you in your discussion/debate, but he is always cordial and respectful.

As far as Zell goes, I didn't compare him with JFK. What I did do is say that he comes from a time where the moderate stances of people like JFK were celebrated in the Democratic party and those with socialist or communist leanings were relegated to the fringe of the party. You say that Zell's views are antiquated and I believe you are right. This is the great tragedy of the Democratic party. They have allowed the zealots to gain control of the party, which has pulled it farther away from the moderate base.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 01:38 PM

"Republicans sold us out with a generation of trickle-down economics that blew the deficit sky-high, drove poverty through the roof, and squeezed the middle class like a lemon at a county fair. They gave themselves the goldmine, and they gave the rest of us the shaft."

- Zell Miller, 2/25/96

So when exactly did the socialist and communists take over the Democratic party? Appartently it must have happened in the middle of Clintons second term. Because as of 1996, Zell Miller was still "towing the party line".

Oh...look there's more...

In a 2001 speech, Miller called Kerry "one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders – and a good friend." He said, "John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington…He fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so. John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment." [Source: Zell Miller speech, 2001]


Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 01:42 PM

HAHA... now thats a gem of a quote!!

bigjohn
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 01:48 PM

Wow, he must really, really love Bush then! Even more than the war-hero Kerry!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 03:50 PM

Now all we need to do is float a rumor that Miller and Bush are secret lovers and Kerry will be a shoe-in!
Posted by: 2x6spds

Baby Killers at It Again - 09/03/04 04:12 PM

Yes, perhaps we have forgotten the Palestinian slaughter of infants in the nursery of Kibbutz Ma'alot, but doesn't the murder of over a hundred school children by the Islamic Jihadists today remind us about the essential nature of these people?

Posted by: 2x6spds

Who Is Marking 9/11 with Celebrations? - 09/03/04 04:13 PM


September 3, 2004 No.778

London Convention Will Celebrate 9/11



The London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that the extremist Islamic movement Al-Muhajiroun had announced a convention in London, titled "The Choice is in Your Hands: Either You're with the Muslims or with the Infidels," to mark the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The organization had planned a similar anniversary event a year ago, called "The Magnificent 19 [Suicide Attackers]," but had cancelled it at the last minute. The following is a summary of the report:(1)
Al-Muhajiroun leader Omar Bakri, a Syrian residing in London, told the paper by phone that the convention would feature Al-Qa'ida "surprises," with the screening of a never-before-shown video. He said that the convention will focus on "the anniversary of the division of the world into two great camps - the camp of faith and the camp of unbelief," and would take place September 11, 2004 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Bakri added: "On this day, we will talk about the ramifications of these [9/11] operations for Afghanistan and Iraq... We want the world to remember this operation ... that lifted the head of the [Muslim] nation." Bakri called 9/11 "a cry of Jihad against unbelief and oppression," and said that the aim of remembering it is to "revive the commandment of Jihad among the youth of the [Muslim] nation."

Bakri said that the convention will also feature a lecture about the Islamic religious roots of "slaughtering the infidels," that is, beheading foreigners in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and that there will be films by Al-Qa'ida, the Tawhid and Jihad organization, and the Brigades of the Two Holy Places in the Arabian Peninsula, and that there will also be a film on the most recent operations in Chechnya. He added that one of the speeches, by Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, known to be Al-Qa'ida's military commander in Iraq, will be translated.

Another lecture, he said, would be dedicated to the memory of three Al-Qa'ida commanders: Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Muqren (Abu Hajer), killed in June 2004 by Saudi security forces; his predecessor Yousef Al-Ayyiri, killed in June 2003 in a clash with Saudi security forces, and Abu Hafs Al-Masri, a top Al-Qa'ida military officer, killed in the U.S. attack on Kandahar in late 2001.

According to Bakri, the anticipated criticism of Al-Muhajiroun for the organization's insistence on memorializing 9/11 will be "a simple sacrifice in comparison with what we must actually do - that is, support the Jihad led by bin Laden."

Attorney Anjam Choudry, secretary-general of Al-Muhajiroun in Britain, said, "A large hall has already been secured for the convention, but the announcement came only two days ago for fear that the British police would try to cancel it, as happened with the previous convention."

Endnote:
(1) Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), September 3, 2004.



Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 05:27 PM

I listen to George's speach last night and must admit it sounded pretty darn good. So that go me suspicious. I really liked his pledge to increase Pell Grant funding for college students, as I myself received a Pell Grant in my third year of college, and that grant is what allowed me to attend.

Here's what I found...these blurbs are from a simple search on "bush Pell Grant". Most of these blurbs are NOT in response to last nights speach. They're dated months ago.

Bush Freezes Federal College Scholarship, or Pell Grant
Just as college tuition is rising and the buying power of grants continues to erode, President Bush has frozen the maximum Pell Grant at $4,050 in his FY 2005 education budget. This is the 3rd year in a row that Bush has frozen or cut the maximum Pell Grant.

Despite Bush’s protests that restoring the buying power of the Pell Grant won’t stop rising college costs, he continues to ignore the tuition problem. Not only has he failed to address rising college tuition, but his budget makes college even more expensive by freezing or cutting student aid and taxing students.

Bush Breaks his Promise to Increase Maximum Pell Grant to $5,100
While campaigning in 2000, President Bush, pledged to make college more affordable and accessible by increasing the maximum Pell Grant for college freshman to $5,100.

Not only has President Bush broken his promise to increase the maximum Pell award to $5,100, but he’s actually frozen or cut the maximum Pell grant for the past three years.

Bush College Aid Update Would Force Students to Pay More for College
In 2003, the Bush Administration made revisions to the information used to determine financial aid eligibility that would have eliminated Pell Grants for 84,000 students, and reduced college aid to thousands more students. Fortunately, a Democratic amendment to the 2004 Education Appropriations bill reversed the Bush cuts, restoring Pell Grants and key college aid to students.

Leaves 99 percent of Pell Recipients Behind with ‘Expanded’ Pell Program
As part of his 21st Century Jobs initiative, President Bush announced an increase of up to $1,000 in the maximum grant for Pell recipients who take challenging high school coursework. What the President failed to mention is that he’s capped his plan so that less than 1 percent of all Pell recipients, and less than three-tenths of 1 percent all of all college students, would benefit.


Posted by: spiffnme

Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 05:36 PM

I nearly laughed aloud when George personally thanked the leaders of his "coalition of the willing" last night. In particular Poland. Did he forget the very angry Polish presidents words just a few months ago?

ALEKSANDER KWASNIEWSKI (translated): They deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride.

Six countries – Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Spain, the Philippines, Norway, and Nicaragua – have already pulled their troops out of Iraq. Poland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand – are planning to withdraw shortly.

Posted by: spiffnme

nice...even more... - 09/03/04 05:40 PM

Remember the letter from the US soldier that George read from last night. I guess the idea is that we're supposed to belive that it's just any letter from any soldier, right? Wrong. It was written by Joe Roche, a scholar at the National Center for Public Policy Research – a far right-wing organization. In fact it's on their website.


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 05:45 PM

spiff,

You and I might be the only ones to enjoy this video, but that'll be worth it.

George Bush: Words speak louder than actions.

(courtesy of the Daily Show, of course)
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 05:51 PM

hmmm...this wouldn't really be a 'flip-flop', it's more of a misleading statement, no?

In a second term, Bush pledged to "double the number of people served by our principal job training program." That is a nice idea, but he has spent the last four years cutting funding for job training programs. His 2005 budget, for example, proposed to cut job training and vocational education by 10 percent – that's $656 million – from what Congress pledged to those programs in 2002.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 06:00 PM

Regardless of whether's he's an elephant or an ass, Zell Miller is a raving lunatic.

This page debunks his entire rant againt Kerry's defense voting record.

It's sad, really. I heard interviews with many republicans after Miller's speech. Most of them could be summed up as saying "Miller was just telling it like it is." Unforunately, Miller had fallen victim to the Republican party's own history-altering propaganda machine.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 06:27 PM

I detect a sudden sense of desperation in y'all's posts. Not liking the latest polls?

I remember Pell Grants being something like $1100 a semester back in the '80s. As a scholarship athlete I didn't qualify for one unfortunately - apparently my Dad's cushy job as a truckdriver put us in the "affluent" category.

Lots of the other guys qualified though. They bought fancy clothes, new scooters, big gold chains, partied at the high dollar night spots in Waikiki. Considering the modest pace of inflation since then, $5100 sure must buy a lot of bling-bling for today's needy folks.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 06:35 PM

In reply to:

I detect a sudden sense of desperation in y'all's posts. Not liking the latest polls?




Desperation? Hardly. It's just that I've been given a whole new load of ammo with last nights speach.

I remember when gas was $.070 a gallon too. I remember when a pair of Levi's was $15...that's a REALLY lame arguement.

I worked all day, went to school all night, and am still paying off my loans. I didn't have any "bling-bling". Besides...$4050, not the promised $5100 is only the maximum allowed - not all recipients get that much.

Why am I not surprised in the least by your response to a CLEAR distortion of Bush's record?


Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 06:48 PM

I think Kerry will lose. Again, I'm a lifelong democrat, and have yet to find a democrat who really likes Kerry. I've found many who hate Bush, but Kerry's actual support for him as a candidate for president is soft.
Posted by: dmn23

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 07:05 PM

As much as it pains me to do so, I'm voting with the Dark Side this year. I cannot abide the large majority of this rootin', tootin' idealogue's policies, but Kerry hasn't shown me anything of substance.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 07:10 PM

If pointing out facts and disproving statements made by speakers at the RNC is a sign of desperation, then I suppose all your comments after the DNC were out of desperation as well?

If anything, we look desperate simply because we are outnumbered here. We don't have many people to slap our butts when we make a good play.

I don't keep track of polls. They are manipulative, if not manipulated.

I'll give you this: After hearing Bush's speech, I no longer dislike the man as intensely as I did before -- but I still disagree with him.

NO MORE YEARS!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 07:14 PM

Look at it this way: Did Bush really have substance when he was elected? Not really, but many would say he rose to the occasion. The Presidency is defined not just by the man, but by whom he chooses to surround himself with.

I think Kerry et al will quickly fill the shoes Bush leaves/might leave in office, and then will likely trade them in for less slippery ones.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 07:15 PM

2x6, I definitely agree with you. Many people hate Bush, but you can probably count those who love Kerry on one hand.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 07:18 PM

Smile BigWill... The fact that the NEA makes life miserable for parents, administrators, and tax payers does not mean all teachers are bad. I would guess 80 % are wonderful... The problem is the 20 % are untouchable... and all it takes is one teacher like that to ruin a kid's academic career.

As a family, we are very involved on our kid's schools... and also support our public schools... buying every find raising project that comes by.

And... We still pay school taxes.

We also NEED more parental involvement... too many parents are quick to blame anyone but little Johnny...

What we don't need is more money... just smarter use of money.

Do me one small favor... don't confuse yourself with Union Thugs ... ... you are MUCH better than that, my friend.
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 07:18 PM

In reply to:

Reasons to vote for Kerry without mentioning the "B" word.

1) The constitution is not meant to deny any group of people equal rights.
2) Stem Cell research should be funded.
3) If you don't believe that the US's role in the world is to topple any and all governments that we dislike.
4) If you want to keep Church and State separate.
5) Supreme court justice appointments.
6) If you believe in the U.N. and what it stands for.
7) If you are pro-choice.
8) If you believe in actively seeking and funding alternative fuel sources to help cut our dependancy on foreign oil, rather than simply drilling in our own national parks.
9) You want a President that will respect our allies.




OK Spiff.. Nice job. You are 1 in a million.

However, I can show the flip side on every one.

#1) According to your side, if you are between 1 second old and 9 months old (minus 20 minutes), you have NO rights. I'd get 20 years in jail for punching a gay guy in the mouth, but a "doctor" can suck an 8 month old's brains out with a shop vac with impunity.

2.) Agreed, but my side thinks that Michael Moore could have started one hell of a stem cell research foundation with all of that money he spent lying about Bush. Hmm... Instead of "Rock Against Bush", how about "Rock For Stem Cells"???

3.) We haven't taken out any countries because we dislike them. The ones we took out, we took out because we HAD to.

4.) The Constitution says "...there shall be no state sponsored religion", it does not say "seperation of church and state". My side believes that Judeo Christian values are the foundation of the state itself, and that those values are precisely WHY the US has become great. Destroy the foundation and the house falls.

5.) You're damn straight, skippy. The 9th Circus Court of Appeals in California is a prime example of why we've got to keep those liberal judges out. We agree on something !!!! (ok.. I snuck that one in - you weren't specific)

6.) I believe in the concept behind, and 75% of the stated goals of the U.N.. Unfortunately, the U.N. as it stands now is corrupt, inept, and morally flawed. You follow that current flock of losers. I'm not. Clean house, maybe I will...

7.) See #1. I am pro life. The choice comes before the sperm hits the egg. After that, you're talking murder disguised as medicine. If I'm wrong, people accidentally live. If you're wrong, people accidentally die. Exactly how sure ARE you? Who is cruel?

8.) I believe in getting oil wherever and whenever we can. I also believe that there are HUGE profits to be made in the area of alternative fuels. If I can make a buck in engineering them, producing them, or selling them, I'm all for it. It is stupid to stop producing the oil we need BEFORE we have invented, and have in full production, the alternative. Invent the wheel BEFORE building the cart, and don't sell your mule to buy the wood you need to build the cart.

9.) Our current President respects the ones that deserve our repect. France's position was wrong. They played nice with the terrorists, and their people got taken hostage the very first time they went against what the terrorists wanted them to do. Hmm... over 100 dead in a school in Russia this week, too. They also played nice with the terrorists... Our President was proven right again.

Oh... and I'm not a neo-con. I'm just a regular old generic conservative, thank you.

Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 07:40 PM

As much as you may like to believe otherwise, I'm not "on a side".

1) I DON'T believe that abortions later than the first trimester should be allowed.

2) Unless you know where all his money is gone, you're talking out your backside on this one. In fact, he even let his fans help decided which charity would get his tax refund last year. He does give his money to worthy causes.

3) We'll just disagree on this one. We did not HAVE TO take out Iraq.

4) Again, we simply disagree. I don't believe christion beliefs are the foundation of our nation. Great, you believe what you believe - don't make it law for everyone else. I don't believe in state money going into faith based organizations. Yes, they do a lot of good, but it's still federal money supporting a particular religion.

5) I think you know what I meant here.

6) So if it's broken, you just throw it away? Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has essentially become the only super power on earth. That shouldn't make us the worlds biggest bully as well. The WORLD oppossed the war in Iraq. The anti-war rallies around the world prior to the invasion were the largest mass protests in the history of the world. The only reason we went it alone is because we could. NOT a good reason.

7) I guess I like living on the edge. I'm also an athiest, so if I'm wrong on that one, I'm really screwed, aren't I?

8) I'm not suggesting stopping all domestic oil production. What I'm suggesting is MASSIVE incentives to get the ball rolling on alternatives. It's going to take some major bucks to get the oil and auto industries to get off their asses and come up with a true alternative. Right now it's too easy for them to sit back and roll in the money. The prize has to be worth the risk. A country free from foreign oil isn't a worthy prize to corporate america. The only thing corporate america jumps for is MONEY. Show them the money, and they'll show us a REAL car that runs without fossil fuel.

9) There's a difference between respecting your allies and agreeing with them.


Posted by: James_T

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 07:44 PM

RA RA RA.

Go peter, go peter, it's your birthday.

Seriously, nice work guys. I read this thread, but don't post. It makes my stomach hurt....

jr
Posted by: spiffnme

Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:08 PM

Civilian Casualties
I'm sure this site will anger most of the right wingers around here. But how do you justify this?


Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:16 PM

Spiff... I took a quick run through ... I saw hundreds from small arms, mortar fire, car bombs... etc... I have quite enough familiarity with the US military to tell you most of those deaths were NOT caused by us.


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:21 PM

I know it's a weak retort, but if we weren't there in the first place....
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:23 PM

Perhaps not directly. How many car bombs, and mortar fire were killing people before we invaded? The number is still astounding. Over 11,000. Who do you think the Iraqis blame?


Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:23 PM

You have a point... Then the 100,000 women (ok... mostly girls) that were being raped and many killed, could continue for a few more years...

Another question noone will answer... Who here would have sent his sister or daughter to Iraq under Hussein ?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:25 PM

I was going to edit my post above to include this:

So this begs the question: Has the situation we brought upon the Iraqi poeple resulted in more civilian deaths than Saddam Hussein would have caused in the same time period?
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:28 PM

You know that arguement simply doesn't fly. Unless you plan on police forcing the entire world that won't cut it with me. Why are we not in Sudan? There are LOT's of places where bad things are going on, are we going to globetrot around the world and "install" new government everywhere? Besides, that's NOT why we went. We went because we were told they had WMD, and were an iminent threat. Remember the "smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud" speach? Stop trying to switch the story. Liberating the Iraqi people WAS NOT why we went. That's what the story became after we got there, and found no WMD's.

To be terrible cold about it that's the story all the war supporters are trying to tell themselves so they don't feel so bad about the over 11,000 civilians dead. George and Co. got us shitting our pants over WMD's - THAT'S why we went. In George's speach last night, he suggested "Was I to trust the word of a madman?". No George, you weren't. You could have trusted the weapons inspectors that said they hadn't found anything.


Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:34 PM

Spiff... WMD's were a part of the equation. There was also a lot of talk about the crimes against humanity... Harboring terrorists, you name it. I do like your position though... If we cannot save ALL people, screw em... we won't save any.

By the way... another question you never answered... Which democrats were saying "no wmd's" before the Iraq war.

Hey Spiff... Why don't you do this one, too... When did President Bush say Iraq "was an imminent threat"?


Posted by: JaimeG

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:35 PM

Who here would have sent his sister or daughter to Iraq under Hussein ?
--------------------
I ‘ll choose Irak(under Saddam) over Saudi Arabia any day.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Body count - 09/03/04 08:35 PM

I found this on the "body count" website. It gives some info on how they came up with their totals. 7300+ is still a hell of a count.

This database includes up to 7,350 deaths which resulted from coalition military action during the "major-combat" phase prior to May 1st 2003. In the current occupation phase the database includes all deaths which the Occupying Authority has a binding responsibility to prevent under the Geneva Conventions and Hague Regulations. This includes civilian deaths resulting from the breakdown in law and order, and deaths due to inadequate health care or sanitation.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:39 PM

That's the de rigeur ex post facto justification of the war. The ends justify the means, right? When the "end" happens, we'll have to see about that.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:39 PM

Well... I am not sure what to say... other than your daughter, as an infidel, would surely have spent time in a rape room in Iraq...
Great choice you are making.

Posted by: Michael_A

Re: OT: politics - 09/03/04 08:40 PM

Now THIS is funny. I lived in Georgia for a few years. Zell Miller was the only Democrat that I have ever voted for in my life. I didn't like the Republican candidate (Guy Millner, I think) because he did not appear trustworthy to me. Maybe someone from Georgia can remind me what his "problem" was?

Zell IS the Democrat of the 1950s and 60s. Democrats used to be for the common guy. Now days you need to be a victim of a cause that they support, or they don't want to talk to you.

Also, Georgia politics are just a little different than most other places. Straight shooting, plain talking, no nonsense politics ranging from center to right. The liberal philosophy doesn't have much cohesive representation down there.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:40 PM

In reply to:

By the way... another question you never answered... Which democrats were saying "no wmd's" before the Iraq war.



I'm not a Dem, so I don't particularly care. I was against the war from the start.

I'll work on your other challenge. As that it's 6pm Friday prior to a long weekend, and one in which I'm playing in a tennis tournament, I'll likely not get you the quote(s) untill early next week.

I'm heading out of here guys. Let's keep the dialog going.

- Craig (the other one)


Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:41 PM

The ironic part... NONE of you guys have answered ONE question... it is nothing more than your own, America is wrong... self loathing.


Posted by: ringmir

Re: Just some more fact checking - 09/03/04 08:53 PM

Allright, I gotta chime in because this Pell grant post just seriously pisses me off. First of all, I got a Pell grant. Now, understand I went to University of Pennsylvania, not a cheap school by any means and I understand that completely. But grants like this made it possible for me to even *dream* of going there. Did I party my four years away and learn nothing? No, I busted my damn a$$ and graduated summa cum laude with two majors because I appreciated that my education was an opportunity I should grab ahold of. What the grants didn't cover I took out in loans myself, or I worked hard to win educational scholarships to help with. When I started life my mother was single with three kids, living in Brooklyn, working hard, and on welfare. (Because my Dad, who is going to vote for Bush not that it is at all relevant, was a complete wastoid and ran the family finances into the ground.) Did my mother twiddle her thumbs and take welfare money as long as she could? Not a chance, she worked damned hard, got the hell out of new york and made a life for herself, and for us three. She worked 10+ hours a day for the last 20 years, never took a vacation, and never bought nice anything for herself. When the letter came saying I was going to be awarded grant money, she was beaming from ear to ear for weeks and telling all her friends. So I don't mind that some of my money goes to helping underpriveleged kids through college.

Now then, since I'm out of school (and fielding a rather hefty set of loans, even considering I was lucky enough to get some grant money) I have a good job and can live a little more comfortably. Don't let yourself think that people who get those grants aren't grateful or that they all waste them of nightclubs. I understand that programs like this made it possible for me to get where I am. There are *far* more people wasting mommy and daddy's money partying at school than there are people wasting their grants.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 08:56 PM

We're not answering your questions because they're rhetorical. And I'm frankly becoming annoyed by your high-and-mighty stance here. I don't recall anyone personally attacking you -- why do you insist on labeling us (those who don't agree with you) with these platitudes?

This is a debate about ideas. Let's continue without resorting to the personal attack tactics of politicians.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 09:01 PM

I see... asking YOU a question is both rhetorical and "high and mighty" ... That is one thing I love about certain people on the left... tolerance ends when someone either disagrees, or... asks a simple question.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Body count - 09/03/04 09:02 PM

Civilian deaths increase due to the tactics our Arab friends use: firing at soldiers from crowds of civilians, using civilian homes for barracks/headquarters/munitions dumps, lobbing mortar rounds indiscriminately, setting up roadside bombs and mines, etc...

There has been some talk about the Chechen terrorists also having AlQaeda members in their midst, but regardless of that... What political movement is so important that you deliberately butcher hundreds of children? And where are the protestors from Chechnya that decry such tactics on their behalf?
I think you know full well who the good guys are in this one, but your hatred for Bush and desire to see him ousted are all that matter to you. I'm an atheist too, but I do not feel threatened anymore by those with religous beliefs - more power to them.

BTW, I wasn't really making any argument about Pell grants and inflation - I was just trying to be funny. But since you mention it, IMO there shouldn't be any Pell grants at all. Student loans, community colleges and subsidized state universities are more than adequate to ensure that anyone who wishes to attend college, and strives to make it happen, may do so. They may have to work some. Too many freakin' freebies everywhere.

I know parents of disabled children who are paid in excess of $4000 per month to care for their own kids, given special vehicles to transport them, other high-tech devices that costs thousands of dollars; and many of the families aren't even citizens of this country. My heart ain't bleeding anymore.
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 09:06 PM

Spiff,

I express my condolences to the family of each an every innocent Iraqi citizen that has been killed during the removal of Sadaam. For better or for worse, the lives of those people were sacrificed for the greater good of the Iraqi people. They now have the opportunity to become whatever they want to be, not what one man tells them to be.

And yes, I'm pissed off about it. If Kerry hadn't voted against the GBU-1000 super duper laser kaleidoscope, GPS, self cleaning, self guided, turbocharged, new and improved, 5 kajillion dollar bomb that is accurate to 1/64" of an inch, and kills only the correct target, they wouldn't be dead now, would they?

See? It's STILL all Kerry's fault, and you keep blaming Bush!
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 09:08 PM

Excuse me, but did I not list 10 reasons to vote for Kerry without mentioning Bush? Yeah...I think I did.

Craigsub, why is it that you can deal with Hsu fanatics, SVS fanatics, even take personal threats and stay calm, but with nearly every post you've made in this thread, you sound like a very angry man. It's like two different people.


Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 09:09 PM

Michael... What makes something funny is when it is based in the truth. Noone here is blaming Senator Kerry for Iraq. It IS a fact that he voted for the war based on the same intel President Bush had.

I hope you also note I refer to him as Senator Kerry... not as "Bush" ... as has been done repeatedly by the left side here...


Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 09:15 PM

I usually call him George, GW, or even G. Dubya. Does the lack of using proper titles mean my opinions don't count? Your offended by being described as being on a "high horse" and then post something like that. Wow. I guess you don't even realize it.




Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 09:19 PM

My point was simple.. They ALL deserve the respect of the office held. I just happen to be consistent on this belief. If you go through al this, you will see I am defending a man who was pur into a VERY difficult position.

By the left, he has been accused of...

1. Planning 911 himself.
2. Not preventing 911.
3. Taking away our freedoms when he tries to keep a repeat of 911 from happening.
4. And then there are the websites.. "Whyihatebush.com" "killthepresident.com"

If you want to call ME names, fine. I guess more tolerance from the left...
Posted by: ringmir

Re: Body count - 09/03/04 09:21 PM

Will, it's not a matter of going to a community college. Sure I could go to some college if I wanted, but the opportuniy to go to a highly respected college where I will get a degree that actually means something in a highly competitve industry is a completely different story. There are people in this country who are extremely bright and intellectually deserving of a quality higher education. A lot of those kids are not in a position to ever get it without some aid. The government needs to find those kids and help them through school. A well educated population is critical in the continued success of this nation in the world. It is at least as important as a strong military and a tough stance of terrorism.

Do you want North Korea to nuke you? Do you want a programmer who went to Chester County Community College working on the software that will run on the radars and interceptors trying to keep you safe? Or would you rather that guy majored in Computer Science and Mathematics at Penn, and graduated at the top of his class?

Do any of you have a relative with a pacemaker? You know those things are programmed right? I doubt you want that software to crash. Or what about the back-end trading software used on wall street? How about the encryption technologies used by our military? I could go on for a while...and this is just one industry out of many with similarly critical systems.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 09:38 PM

I totally agree. He's been put into a VERY difficult position. I don't think he's handled it very well, and hope he doesn't get to stay in office for another four years. I never said he had it easy.

As far as respecting the office. I respect people, not titles. As far as I'm concerned, George has not earned my respect. He doesn't respect me, why should I respect him?


Posted by: craigsub

Re: Body count - 09/03/04 09:41 PM

Ringmir... You make some pretty good points... I would also like to see "merit grants" along those lines... Based on grades, as that is the objective standard...

You get aid for a year... screw up, and you pay... get a 3.5 (or something like that) ... next year is free...

That way the REALLY smart AND ambitious ones are keeping the nukes away..

Although... if the Chester Community College kid plays enough video games, he may STILL qualify...
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/03/04 09:47 PM

Spiff... He has never met you. How can he not respect you ? As far as his not handling it well... He has. We have not been attacked again, and the three countries that would not honor their vote from November, 2002 are paying dearly for their cowardice.




Posted by: ringmir

Re: Body count - 09/03/04 09:51 PM

I would love to see merit grants. There are some out there but a lot of them are privately funded. All I'm trying to say is that money spent on higher education is money well spent. Sure some of it will get wasted, some of every large buget item the government holds gets wasted. But a lot of it will go to good use, and the majority of the recipients will appreciate it immensely.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Body count - 09/03/04 09:56 PM

Ringmir, The other problem, (of course) is the government is usually pretty bad at judging "merit" ... which is why private funding is usually the source.

That being said, I would prefer to see money potentially wasted on a student than surely thrown away on the majority of welfare programs (corporate AND personal) ...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Body count - 09/03/04 11:46 PM

Ringmir, should I infer from your post above that you feel private universities provide a "better" education than schools like UCLA or Berkeley?
I'll take the real world gains made by those UC schools to the old world cronyism of the Ivy League anyday. And despite rhetoric to the contrary these excellent schools are extremely affordable by comparison (if you can get in).
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: OT: politics - 09/04/04 12:11 AM

Another more or less Democrat chiming in here. Good discussion for the most part. Must be our common love of good sound and Axiom speakers.

I am reading to learn - it is an interesting way to hear both sides. I do have a few bits of input.

"1) I DON'T believe that abortions later than the first trimester should be allowed."

I think it is hard to say when life begins for me - until about 2 months - then it is definitely a person.

"3) We'll just disagree on this one. We did not HAVE TO take out Iraq."

Agreed - why not "take out" Sudan, etc.?

"7) I guess I like living on the edge. I'm also an athiest, so if I'm wrong on that one, I'm really screwed, aren't I?"

Maybe more to the point - it doesn't seem right to forbid someone to have the choice when it is pretty unclear (the crux of the issue) when life actually begins. If the right really wants to make abortions stop - why don't they really push their own folks to provide good alternatives? They (used to be "we") are much more inclined to try to pass a law that is not going to get passed for years to come than to start up real alternatives. (Granted even Jerry Falwell has started places for "unwed mothers" but the options like this are still few and make the pro-life movement seem hypocritical).
Posted by: ringmir

Re: Body count - 09/04/04 12:21 AM

UCLA and Berkeley are outstanding schools, as are many other state schools. But it's almost never an option for a low income family to send their child to school across the country for school. Scrounging up money for a winter vacation plane ticket may be impossible for some of these students. A few friends of mine in school stayed with me over fall and spring breaks because they lived far away and couldn't afford to go home. And what about the kids who work part time through school to help pay the bills back home? Or need to save every penny they can on room and board by living at home while in school?

There are programs like "work study" that would help too (without being a "freebie"), the problem is that the government caps the wage a work study student can earn rather than paying up to a fixed amount regardless of the student's wage. So the government will give say, 3k in a work study grant, which then counts against other potential grants, but the student never earns the work study money because they can get a different job that pays better. The cap isn't very high either, when I was in school it was around $8 / hour, only a fraction of which the government pays anyway. Granted this makes the student an attractive worker because they cost the school less money, but then these kids get funnelled into the lower paying jobs at the school. And what's worse, when these kids with work study jobs earn as much as their work study grant permits the government to subsidise, they lose their job because the university figures they should go find another work study kid. I never used my work study grants because I got a job as a TA that paid too much, but damned if it didn't count against my eligability for *all* grant money, even non-federal.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/04/04 03:10 AM

In reply to:

By the left, he has been accused of...

1. Planning 911 himself.
2. Not preventing 911.
3. Taking away our freedoms when he tries to keep a repeat of 911 from happening.
4. And then there are the websites.. "Whyihatebush.com" "killthepresident.com"

If you want to call ME names, fine. I guess more tolerance from the left...


The left this, the left that. Lumping people who happen to hold beliefs that are to left of yours with the conspiracy theorists who believe Bush planned 911 is completely ridiculous! Do you actually think we believe that crap?

Calling people who disagree with President Bush's policies "self-loathing Americans" is also ridiculous. I don't need to support the president to know I live in amazing country. I don't need to agree with the actions of our government to feel good about myself. Don't sell youself short and rely on that crutch of an argument.

And when I said your questions were rhetorical, I simply meant that it's plainly obvious you already know the answers to them. Unless I'm in a classroom, I don't normally respond to individuals who ask questions to which they already know the answers.

So, who's calling you names?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/04/04 03:18 AM

In reply to:

As far as his not handling it well... He has. We have not been attacked again.


Since I started keeping a clove of garlic in my back pocket I haven't seen any vampires.

The lack of an attack on our homeland is not proof that we are safer. The country felt pretty safe on 9/10/01, didn't it?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Body count - 09/04/04 03:22 AM

In reply to:

...should I infer from your post above that you feel private universities provide a "better" education than schools like UCLA or Berkeley?


Hey, isn't Berkeley where all the Marxist professors congregate? (sorry, I'm full of zingers tonight...)

I'm a UC Berkeley grad and got a couple Federal grants that helped me through, but I mostly depended on work-study and loans cover the majority of my expenses.

Oh, BTW, for out of state individuals, Berkeley and UCLA are about as expensive a s private school.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Body count - 09/04/04 09:32 AM

PM - THis IS a debate of the "lefts's" argument vs. the "right's" ... and the left in this country has made all the accusations I listed.

The other half of the rhetorical question is that the person being asked also knows the answer. So, yes, YOU also know that every Democrat also supported the policy in Iraq, believed in the amount of WMD's available... witnessed some of the rape rooms (I got to see a British lady from the House of Commonds who had visisted Iraq to oppose the war, SHE was a strong proponent after she was taken through a rape room, and had seen what had occured) ... and the many terrorist camps they had operating in Iraq...

As far as you vampire analogy, in order for it to "hold water" you must have actually been attacked by a vampire... nice! ...
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Body count - 09/04/04 09:55 AM

I have been reading up some on the situation in the Sudan. Arab militia has been attacking what looks like defenseless Black Africans (I think they ARE pretty much defenseless, but used looks lke to be safe). These "militia" (I call them terrorists) have killed upwards of 30,000 people, and 1.2 million people are homeless... driven from their villages by the terrorists... these terrorists are well armed, while the Black Africans are not. Thus, we have a pretty nasty bloodbath occuring.

Is this a decent summary ?
Posted by: littleb

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/04/04 11:10 AM

I hate to say it, since I don't want to upset you any more than you probably are, but I can't really help myself. . . you forgot bribing the Supreme Court to put the final touches on a stolen election which was brought about with the aid of Katherine Harris and Governor brother Jeb Bush of Florida. Now remember when you read this, that it is a pathetic attempt at political humour. Smile, please.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Body count - 09/04/04 11:19 AM

There's no shortage of Marxists at UCLA, either.

I just read in todays paper that the UC student's education (California residents and illegal immigrants apparently, but not folks from any other US state) costs the gov't $8500 a year. What is tuition now ? about $2k? Pretty damn good deal IMO, but I suppose the gov't should go ahead and pay for it all, plus books, meals, lodging, plane tickets home, cash for beer and clubbing, free bicycles, what else am I missing? Oh yeah, protest supplies - it ain't cheap making all those "Bush is a terrorist" posters. And they need a ration of flags for flag burning demonstrations - might as well have the taxpayers buy those too.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/04/04 11:27 AM

Littleb - That was pretty funny.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Body count - 09/04/04 11:34 AM

BigWill... That was doggone funny, too...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Body count - 09/04/04 03:08 PM

There were two letters in the paper today that blew me away here's the first:

Salute service and the flag

I am a World War II veteran (1943-49). I served in Europe and fought through France and Germany, and ended up in Austria in 1945. I am 81 years old, on Social Security and living with my daughter because I can't work. And I would like to have a flag, but I have to buy one sometimes at a yard sale or swap meet.

This is the flag that I love; it stands for a lot of broken hearts of mothers, sisters, brothers, friends, wives, fathers and all. I am very proud of my country. When I see my flag I get goose bumps, I shed a tear.

This country doesn't owe me anything because I fought for it. I would gladly do it again if I had to.

RUBEN PETERS

Riverside


and the second:

The new citizen-patriots

Two-hundred and twenty-odd years ago a small group of poorly armed citizen-patriots stood behind trees and attacked the organized regiments of Redcoats whom they thought were illegal occupiers of their country. Today we call these fellows heroes and our Constitution contains a Second Amendment stating "A well organized Militia, being necessary ... the right to bear arms shall not be abridged."

Today we are the invaders-occupiers. We call the citizen-patriots in Iraq "insurgents" or "terrorists." We demand that all militias there be disarmed or destroyed, we bomb and advance artillery and tanks through neighborhoods, and we state, despite agreements with local leaders and the "interim government," that "Our troops will go in and out as always" (The P-E, Aug.30).

This is not al-Qaida. These are patriots who attack us only when we invade their territory. We were probably wrong to invade, and we are definitely wrong to occupy this nation.

ALAN WILLIAMS

Riverside

Wow! How perspective can vary, huh?
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Body count - 09/04/04 04:07 PM

Anyone want to wager a pair of M-80's on this ? My money is on Mr. William's being a BIG proponent of gun control here... As for comparing these terrorists to George Washington, it is as stupid a notion as I have ever heard.



Posted by: BigWill

Re: Body count - 09/04/04 05:20 PM

We have some wackos out here.

OTOH, the old timer's letter made me tear up both times I read it.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Body count - 09/04/04 05:25 PM

BigWill, I hear you. The gentleman we bought our first dealership from fought in WWII, worked in the FBI for 10 years, then for Ford Motor, before buying the dealership in 1964... His views, and dedication to freedom... are very heart warming.
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/04/04 09:08 PM

"The lack of an attack on our homeland is not proof that we are safer. The country felt pretty safe on 9/10/01, didn't it?"

True but if we were attacked again it would be blamed on Bush. He has done some things well (maybe too well) and some things have not been taken care of. Just like Clinton.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/04/04 11:05 PM

Gentlemen... Take a HARD look at Russia.. They thought we were on the wrong side of fighting terror... there was temporary profit in their position... now there are 100's dead ... noone likes war. ever. But we either fight... or die.
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/04/04 11:17 PM

Craigsub,

I could be wrong and I certainly am somewhat ignorant still - but I thought Russia has been coming down HARD on "terrorists" for quite a while in Chechnya.

(I do believe that the Chechnyan militants - like Al Queda - are truly terrorists. But that does not mean their views are all wrong. Just some of them - to a terrible extent.)

Again, correct me if I am wrong.
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/04/04 11:20 PM

And Israel - how far have they gotten by coming down very hard on the Palestinans?

Not that we should blithely go into these encounters with no guns and a purely pacifist stance - but some discretion and attention to the other sides concerns is necessary.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/04/04 11:31 PM

DK ... Yes, The Russians whacked Chechnya hard... they attacked without warning against a people , the Russians were wrong there, and acted as terrorists themselves.... they just learned a lesson on REAL terrorists... those who want to destroy anyone who disagrees with them... not co-exist.

Putin may finally "get" it...
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/04/04 11:39 PM

Some people think George W is a terrorist. I think they have some points but certianly there are differences. But, still - "shock and awe" was designed to strike terror in the hearts of the Iraqi soldiers - and for what purpose? Many of us believe it is simply for oil (i.e. continued world domination).

Again, just asking questions. I don't know enough to state much definitively - except that M3s are more accurate than Paradigm Titans.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/05/04 12:26 AM

Sometimes one has to look at results... "shock and awe" did precisely that. Had We wanted to, Iraq could be a parking lot today. Some may see that as arrogance, but it IS true. As for world domination in oil... If that was our goal, you would know it. Kuwait could be a territory, just as Guam is... we liberated, held out the hand of friendship, and hoped it was accepted.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/05/04 12:40 AM

Sorry, Donald, but what the Chechins want is a separate Islamic Fundamentalist state. They've blown up apartment buildings in Moscow, brought down airliners and now have killed about 200 children.

The French, who have done everything possible to accommodate their Islamic guests drew the line at headscarves in public schools. They also outlawed wearing crosses outside students' clothing and Jews from wearing yarmulkas. Interesting that neither Christians nor Jews took any Frenchmen hostage and threatened to behead them. You are aware of the 2 French journalists being held in Iraq.

Why would you think the Israelis have come down "hard" on the Palestinians? There are 1 million Palestinian Israeli citizens, fully franchised, full legal protection. What happens if a Jewish person wanders into a Palestinian town? Killed. How about the fate of the ancient and once populous Jewish communities of Damascus and Baghdad? The Copts of Egypt are appealing to the world to protect them from the Islamic fundamentalists. The Christians of Iraq are fleeing the Sunis and Shias to the Kurdish north.

How can you equate the acts of the Jihadists who strap explosive vests to their children and celebrate blowing up people in Pizza parlors, or busses, or check points, with Israeli police action to track down and kill the leaders who dispatch these murderers?

Come down hard? You mean like when the Iraqis hanged 12 Jews in central Baghdad from lamposts in 1969 precipitating the exodus of the Jewish community? That kind of hard? Maybe you mean the battle of Jenin when the PLA armed by the Israelis as part of the Oslo accords fought the Israeli army which entered the town to find those responsible for a suicide bombing which killed 10 people and then spread the great lie of an Israeli massacre?

Yes, the French should certainly give in to the Jihadists. It's clear that no dispute is too small to justify murder, so give in! Same for the Israelis - they should give in to the Jihadists, permit millions of Muslims to move into Israel and destroy Israel. Same for the Russians. Those fools, thinking they can keep a pluralistic society together when Jihadists want a Sharia state in Chechnya. Every non Muslim would have to leave or suffer the same fate as the 200 infants and children in Besla.

Yes, I suppose you're right - we should just give in to the Islamo-fascists Jihadists.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/05/04 12:54 AM

2x6 ... You have courage. In 1942, a lot of Americans who, before that, would have taunted each other also understood there was a threat that wanted us destroyed...

History has a way of repeating... I just hope that, in ten years, we are debating a flat tax... and not agreeing that this threat to kill every American by Muslim extremist terrorists must be stopped.

Iraq, under Hussein, was part of that threat... as is Iran still.

In 1941, a poll of Americans believed (by a 2 to 1 margin) that the Japanese meant us no harm...
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/05/04 10:00 AM

Thanks for the response - I will need to look at some things before responding intelligently. In the mean time I will respond half intelligently and hope you all can put up with it.

This is what I hoped would happen - getting exposed to some of the arguments I have not heard (I attend a peace church and work with all democrats who are to the left of Kerry for the most part) so I can consider them.

So, our purpose was to liberate the Iraqis? Or to deal with the imminent threat (or whatever word was used - big and present danger)? I have a hard time believing that because there was no evidence on the ground and no willingness to wait for proof, and I thought no reason not to wait - we were already in there inspecting most everything. (Again - just my take on it based on little research-trying to promote discussion not fierce argument). I am not trying to defend Kerry in this statement.

What the Israelis did in Jenin seemed to be roundly condemned by almost every country as way over the top. I would take advantage of every military defense I could too if I was in charge of Israel - but why keep settling in the palestinian territory and stoking the fires of terrorism? Jewish fundamentalism, from what I have heard and read. "God gave this land to us."

I am not advocating giving in to all terrorist demands - but some sensitivity can help you avoid some problems. You are right though, with certain Muslim fundamentalists the problems would be there anyway. Just not as bad I think.

I don't see the inherent problem with giving the chechnyans a separate Muslim state. Probably due to my own ignorance again. Sure - that might not turn them into peaceful neighbors, but some accomodation makes international relations work better. Some accomodation does not.

Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/05/04 10:41 AM

Donald, It is also very easy (note, I am not saying this about any one person) to say "what about?" then fill in the blanks... For example, "what about the Sudan?" ... and use that to discredit the efforts in Iraq.

I hope everyone agrees that the "Arab Militia" in the Sudan is nothing more than government backed terrorists. These guys were recently sold new weapons to use against the Black African population. These weapons include Attack Helicopters and Fighter Jets. The source ? The Russians.

Twelve Mig-29's are now in possession of these terrorists... Thanks to Pres. Putin.

And the thanks he gets ? Hundreds of people (including chilren) dead in a Russian school, killed by terrorists. Mr. Putin will be taking a MUCH different view of terror now... And I am sure President Bush will welcome President Putin with open arms...

And we ARE working with those in Africa to try to solve the problem, though it would have been easier without the addition of Migs and Hind Helicopters (watch Rambo III ... THOSE gunships against civilians)...

As for what President Bush (and 47 other countries with us) said ; "Do we wait until there IS an imminent threat?" ... And as far as finding WMD's, we did wait for 4 months after the final resolution from the UN (which again gave Iraq 30 days) to start the war. Even if Senator Kerry, heck, even if Ralph Nader was currently president, and some right wing guy was pounding on President Nader for not finding vast stockpiles of WMD's, I would point out that hiding (like... under 50 feet of sand) the WMD's would be easy.

We also DID find a lot of evidence, including a 155 mm shell, of chemical weapons.

President Bush was quite clear in his words, On March 1, 2003, Iraq could not "hit us" directly. But he was working on it. Should we have waited until he HAD missiles that could reach, say, England ? Or the US ?

In 1999, four years before the Iraq war, the United Nations reported that Iraq could produce 25,000 liters of Anthrax. It was then incumbent upon Iraq to prove they were destroyed, not for us to continue to prove the existence. A cubic meter holds 1000 liters. Enough Anthrax to wipe out hundreds of millions of people would fit into 3 meter, or 10 foot cube. With four months, how hard would it be to hide that in an area the size of California?

There was no doubt that Iraq under Hussein control would someday have WMD's and delivery systems that could hit first Europe, then the US and Canada.

And Hussein control also means his sons... they were at least as twisted as "Dad" ... nice family business, eh ?

Remember the flood of Anthrax laced letters... in 2002 and early 2003 ? They are no longer occuring. Perhaps that is coincidence...

But back to seeking evidence... It was Hussein's job to prove the WMD's were destroyed. It was not our job to prove they were there. THAT was the UN's position in every resolution passed.

The stated goals in Iraq were:

1. To ensure no WMD's could ever be used by Hussein again.
2. To eliminate the terrorist training camps located there.
3. Freeing the Iraqi people was a plus, and a good thing to do, yes.

This war against terror was also predicted, By President Bush, to last ten years or more. Iraq was just another step along the way.

I also love my church. We send food, clothing, and prayers to the people of Iraq. And the Sudan, Afganistan... and other areas of the world. I hope your faith will allow you to understand there is evil in the world, and sometimes we have to fight to stop it.



Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/05/04 11:51 AM

I have been reading about the Russian situation, and President Putin's response to date. He is so far showing remarkable courage, and a determination to not let this happen again.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/05/04 01:58 PM

The Chechen terrorists seem to have a political goal that may or may not be noble, but their tactics clearly indicate that they are terrorists and not patriots, freedom fighters, or whatever. Killing all those kids, the civilians on the airliners, etc... is just the wrong way to go about achieving any goal.
The Israelis have shown many times over that they would like to live in peace with their Arab neighbors, but that doesn't seem to true of the Arabs. The hatred and sub-human loathing of the Jews by the Arabs is unfathomable to me and will always be an insurmountable obstacle to any peaceful resolution. I think it is a waste of time for the Israelis to negotiate with such enemies. They can put up that wall, defend themselves and launch retaliatory attacks forever - or get the hell out of there - but those seem to be the only options.
Personally, I don't see the allure of living in the Middle East, but whatever... Maybe the Israelis should all pack up and move to Baja, build replicas of the holy sites, and turn it into a beautiful country. Mexico ain't doing much with all that prime real estate.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/05/04 10:04 PM

"I have a hard time believing that because there was no evidence on the ground and no willingness to wait for proof, and I thought no reason not to wait - we were already in there inspecting most everything."

Donald - I'm going to be brief, since Craig addressed your post in length. I just wanted to request that you do some research into the 10 year period during which UNSCUM was supposed to be doing it's inspections. If you look at all of the UN resolutions during that time, they were consistently issuing resolution after resolution demanding that Hussein comply with their resolutions and provide unfettered access to all sites civilian/industrial/military/presidential. It's when you look back at the details that you find the root of the problem. Hussein was completely controlling where and when UNSCUM was allowed to search. When he wasn't doing this, he was periodically kicking them out of the country. So, the reality is that the UN inspectors were being lead back and forth across Iraq looking only at what Hussein would allow them to view.

Now, once you come to understand this, you have to then reexamine the fact that the UN clearly determined that Iraq had WMDs in many forms at the end of the first gulf war. Now, it's 10 years later and everyone is saying that there are no WMDs. For this to be true, either of two things would have had to happened:

1. Hussein destoyed them
2. Hussein hid them

Which one seems more logical? If he destroyed them, would he not have provided proof to the UN to avoid the second war? That's all he would have needed to do to get the UN off his back. Therefore, if you rule out the first option, what's left is that they are hidden somewhere, either somewhere in the sand or in a neighboring country like Syria.

The problem with everyone is that they get selective memory about the fact that there was no doubt that Hussein had them. Hell, he used them on the kurds. No one really wants to dig into the above argument because it would force them to agree with us evil conservative in our assessment that they are simply hidden somewhere.

Now...maybe that wasn't so brief. Then again, it was shorter than some of my other posts.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/05/04 10:07 PM

In reply to:

Sometimes one has to look at results... "shock and awe" did precisely that. Had We wanted to, Iraq could be a parking lot today. Some may see that as arrogance, but it IS true. As for world domination in oil... If that was our goal, you would know it. Kuwait could be a territory, just as Guam is... we liberated, held out the hand of friendship, and hoped it was accepted.




All I can say is wow. I think you've said enough for me.


Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/05/04 10:23 PM

Turbodog, Bigwill, Craigsub - Thanks for all the responses.

I have been thinking that I have been a bit out of line and selfindulgent. My purpose was to get information by entering the argument - but I think I am arguing too much instead of asking questions.

Honestly, I think going into Iraq was a BIG mistake and I have a hard time seeing why I should vote for Bush (this is a confession not an argument - I am offering no reasons here). But, if I am going to argue I need to know more.

So, anyway I will try to post my thoughts in the form of questions in the future. I don't want to be antagonistic, and I don't want to pontificate with my small collection of information.

I graduated from Jerry Falwell's college (now University) so I pretty well understand and empathize with the feelings behind conservative viewpoints. I think the truth is usually in the middle somewhere - so I need to hear what you guys have to say to feel like I am getting to a good understanding of our world and politics.

Anyway - more later.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/05/04 10:24 PM

Spiff... I said precisely nothing for you. I really love guys like you who love to take one small paragraph and try to make your case on it. So... let us examine this one paragraph.

1. Yes, We COULD have made Iraq into a parking lot. We did not. Instead, we are trying to bring a real democracy and self rule to the long suffering people there. Coalition forces have gone out of their way to avoid casualities. Britain ALSO could have made Iraq into nothing, and also showed restraint. We may not be perfect, but we are a good people. The "Shock and Awe" was intended to end the war quickly by making the Iraqi Army flee rather than fight to the death. There were a LOT of people predicting 500,000 Iraqi and 50,000 Coalition deaths ... Shock and Awe prevented that.

2. We are NOT controlling any oil in the mid-east.

3. And with Kuwait, after we liberated the country, we DID offer friendship. And for the most part, it wass accepted.

And to be clear, YOUR response was not a part of any form of polite dialogue....

Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/05/04 10:37 PM

Donald, Your posts have been well thought out. Having different viewpoints is a good thing...

As far as the war being a mistake... picture 5 years down the road, Hussein in power, and both Iraq and Iran with nukes... Everything we know is gone... Hussein killed millions of his own people... and power was all he cared about.

I fear war and feel for those killed immensely... and yes, I also understand anyone wanting to talk about the reasons why we are there...


Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/06/04 09:20 AM

Donald - Don't worry about it. This thread is just a long roundtable (long....round...don't know if that works) discussion. All views are welcome, as they enrich the overall dialog. Until recently, this has been a very civil political dialog....surprisingly. Therefore, please feel free to ask questions and/or make assertions. Just be prepared to back up the latter or you'll get torn up.

Gentlemen - Let's try to keep this thing going with a hint of civility. Otherwise, we'll have to put you two into time-out. Seriously, don't let this get personal. We are just talking politics here....we're all Axiom family here to some degree.....We're all just a bunch of extremist bible-beating selfish conservatives and bed-wetting socialist victimized liberals.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/06/04 10:15 AM

TD -- I tend to do things like review things I have said... just to make sure I am not taking it personally. I have been called "high and mighty" and "rhetorical" here... and have not called anyone names.

I DO state what I either think or know... (yes, there is some of both here) ... I have also not attacked Sen. Kerry, I have defended our President against false claims.




Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/06/04 10:21 AM

TD - Here is a specific. It was claimed earlier that job training was cut by $656 million dollars this year. Directly from the Department of Labor's own website, here are the job training figures:

2003 - $5.134 billion dollars.
2004 - $5.749 billion dollars.

Would someone PLEASE show how that is a cut ?
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/06/04 10:38 AM

>>Would someone PLEASE show how that is a cut ?

Well sure. They wanted $1280 million increase, they only got $615 million increase, so that must be a $656 million cut, right ?

It's even worse up here in Canada. Seems like all the political parties aim their announcements at the "easily confused" portion of the electorate. Problem is that the "easily confused" demographic seems to be growing every year and now makes up the majority of the voting population.

Thirty years ago politicians needed to be a bit clever when they offered to give "something for nothing", with tricks like deficit financing in peacetime and "selling off assets to balance the budget". Now they just lie to our faces and get away with it. Maybe we need to reduce electoral terms to match our ever-decreasing attention spans. We could start with a 3 month term -- Bush would have been tossed out and then voted back in by now
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/06/04 10:47 AM

That was another funny one. Bridgman, I spend enough time in Canada to really get an appreciation for what you go through up there. When people in Canada find out it is possible to get bypass surgery within 24 hours, they are just amazed.

I can also say no culture has EVER mastered self depracating humor as well as Canada...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/06/04 01:03 PM

"It's even worse up here in Canada. Seems like all the political parties aim their announcements at the "easily confused" portion of the electorate. Problem is that the "easily confused" demographic seems to be growing every year and now makes up the majority of the voting population."

That was funny! Same thing down here.

Seriously though, how about longer terms in office? Fewer election pressures might equate to better policy - less politicization, less of a focus on PR value, politicians less geared toward pleasing special interest groups, etc... Maybe 6-8 year terms for the president?
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/06/04 01:07 PM

BigWill... A nice idea... ALL we need to do is get 67 senators to agree, then get 38 states to approve, and we are THERE ! ...

OK... it COULD take a while..
Posted by: littleb

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 03:41 PM

You're absolutely certain the US government is NOT controlling any oil supplies in the Middle East. I'm suspicious of that statement. I don't think the American people are going to know this to be a fact or not for many years into the future.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 03:46 PM

Ok...You have a point. How does one prove that the government does NOT control oil supplies.

I could try sarcasm... "I also don't know for SURE that George W. Bush and John F Kerry are not aliens. Afterall, I cannot PROVE it" ...

Or... we could go for common sense... In order for the government to be in control of middle east oil, you would have to believe that the republicans and democrats are in one heck of a conspiracy...
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 03:49 PM

In reply to:

You're absolutely certain the US government is NOT controlling any oil supplies in the Middle East. I'm suspicious of that statement. I don't think the American people are going to know this to be a fact or not for many years into the future.




You're suspicious and I'm curious. What do you mean by your innuendo that the US government controls some oil supplies in the Middle East? Do you think the US is pumping Iraqi oil, stealing it? Do you think the US government is pumping Saudi oil, Q'tar's oil? Dubai's oil? Whose oil do you think the US is controlling, how is the US doing this and why do you believe it?
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 05:44 PM

Hmmmmmm... Must have been a rhetorical question...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 07:04 PM

If the war has been "all about oil", they shouldn't have bothered - gas prices have gone up like 60-70%.

I'm bothered by the media coverage of the Russian kids getting slaughtered. They're spending a lot of time focussing on the failings and/or deceptions of the Russian gov't. Shouldn't the point be how terrible the people are that took all those kids hostage? Shouldn't the Russian public's anger be directed at the terrorists?
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 07:08 PM

BigWill... You are absolutely right. Children are slaughtered, and the perpetrators are called "militants" ... it is nothing short of disgusting.

These terrorists are the lowest form of debris.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 07:22 PM

I guess by focussing on the gov'ts perceived shortcomings it gives everyone the impression that there is a way to keep people safe from the bad guys, but the Russian gov't just didn't do it.
I think the reality is that it is impossible to defend against all attacks.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 07:36 PM

Our director of Homeland Security lives less than two miles from us. He has a line..."We have to be right everytime... the terrorist has to be right just once"

By the way, Regarding Gas prices... in 1980 they averaged $1.10 per gallon... In this area, today, they are $1.89 per gallon ... a 73 % increase in 24 years.

The Federal government ... in 1980, spent $532 billion... in 2004 - $2319 billion ... or a 340% increase.

We need Big Oil to run the federal budget ! ...
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 07:53 PM

Big Will and CraigSub, I agree with you both - media coverage of the slaughter of the children in Besla is disgusting. They appear to be blaming the Russians instead of the Jihadists. Referring to the 10 Arabs found among them as "mercenaries" is absurd. Does anyone think they were in this for the money? Was there any money involved except for the (probably Saudi) money used to finance the slaughter? The media are guilty of severe misdirection in this matter, severe misdirection and moral imbecilism.
Posted by: littleb

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 10:30 PM

I simply meant that we don't know one way or another. I have suspicions, like we all do. No, I don't believe the government is controlling Saudi oil supplies. They may be in control of Iraqi oil supplies since we are occupying their country. I don't think we'll know for sure for quite some time. I don't know the answer and I don't think many do.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 11:01 PM

We are OCCUPYING Iraq ? Log onto this...

www.cpa-iraq.org/government/TAL.html

I guess we also occupied Germany for 50 years, too... In the late 40's through the early 90's we averaged twice the troops that we have in Iraq, and we STILL have 70,000 today.

This country needs a civics lesson...
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 11:23 PM

For those who don't wish to find the above mentioned site... It is the new Iraqi constitution outline. The civics lesson... Occupied countries don't get to write their own constitution. We fought a war in the 1770's over that.

You see, The Brits in 1774 were not working towards our self governance... 143 YEARS after Plymouth Rock...

15 months after the fall of Hussein, Iraq has drafted a constitution...


Posted by: BigWill

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 11:36 PM

Nice catch, 2x6. "Mercenaries" is obviously not the correct word. Maybe "Fu*k!ng scum" would be better?
The school disaster in Russia has really opened my eyes to new possibilities. What was that great quote from Rumsfeld? Something like, "There are known knowns..., known unknowns... and unknown unknowns..."? Massacring school children in huge numbers would have to fall in that last category - until now. How could rational people anticipate an attack like that?

Out here in California we have one cop at almost every high school, but even if you had four or ten there is simply nothing to prevent the same thing from happening here. I'm not trying to spread panic, but we have lots of reasons to be very concerned about the enemies who have been attacking us for the past 30+ years.
I wonder which one of those geniuses came up with that idea, "Hey let's murder some schoolkids, that will show 'em".
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 11:39 PM

Same ones who celebrated the slaughter of infants in the nursery of the Ma'alot Kibbutz.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/06/04 11:49 PM

Bigwill ... 2x6 ... There will be more from these people. militants/mercanaries my butt... They are murderers... It is the right time for the GOOD GUYS to show UNITY...
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/07/04 05:48 AM

In reply to:

this threat to kill every American by Muslim extremist terrorists


Believing that this is their ultimate goal is seeing the world in black and white only. They are attacking us for much more complicated reasons than the naive belief that they want us all dead.

Still, if you do believe they want us all dead, you need to ask youself, "Self, WHY do they want us all dead?" It's NOT that they hate our freedom. It's NOT that we aren't just like them.

You also need to ask youself, "What makes someone a 'terrorist'?"

The right constantly falls back on the "They hate us" and "They want to see us all killed" argument -- all the while keeping the real, historical, underlying reasons unspoken.

You can bomb and hunt down and try to eradicate terrorist by using force and military might. That may make us safer in the short-term. But you can't honestly believe is will make a constructive difference for subsequent generations. Safety by force is illusory. If someone wants to do us great damage, they will find a way.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a realist - 09/07/04 06:10 AM

In reply to:

I have been called "high and mighty" and "rhetorical" here... and have not called anyone names


I would like to state for the record that this is a very misleading statement.

When I said "And I'm frankly becoming annoyed by your high-and-mighty stance here," it was a direct response to your statement, "it is nothing more than your own, America is wrong... self loathing." Mine was a comment on your actions. Yours was a comment on my character -- to which I have every right to take offense.

As for the "rhetorical" discussion, that again was a comment on your actions, not on your character. You even agreed that your questions were rhetorical because you conceded that both you and those whom you were questioning (hopefully) knew the answer.

To me, name-calling is a character attack, not giving someone an opinion about their actions.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 06:17 AM

Let's say it does happen (perish the thought)? What to you think the country's reaction would be, on a governmental level?
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 07:16 AM

PM - They DO hate our lifestyle. They DO want us dead. If a murderer wants you dead, are you going to try to reason with him ? Or defend yourself.

And you can dress it anyway you want, you called my stance "high and mighty" ... that is still calling names and lowering the level of conversation.

I agree with the basics that our current government is doing to fight terrorists. You say hunting them down and killing them is not an answer. Well, Russia tried being nice, as has France... and what did it get them ?

But let us give this another shot... you think we somehow are also responsible for the terrorist's acts. I am on record as blaming the terrorists and them alone.

More questions...

1. What did we do that caused 9/11 to happen ?
2. What, and be specific, would be YOUR solution to world terrorism ?
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 11:46 AM

Help establish a nation for the Palestinians, and Pack up and get the hell out of the Middle East?

If you remember correctly Israel and Palestine were in Peace talks at the end of Clinton's administration. Then 9/11 happened and Bush's response was to bomb the [censored] out of Afghanistan. That opened the door to bombing nations in response to a terrorist attack. What did Israel do the very same week? Sent gunships into Palestine. Violence breeds violence. In the long haul, controlling people through fear and violence is never going to solve anything.


Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 01:22 PM

First, The suggestion that there was something going on at the end of the Clinton administration, or any before that, is rather muted, because peace TALKS have been on going in the middle east for decades. The ceasefire that started in March , 2000 ended on September 28, 2000, when the Palestinians attacked, Israel responded, and they were back at it. This next series of violence was continuous from September, 2000 through 9/11, and continues today ... 9/11 DID send a lot of fear through Israel... and celebrations through the Arab world...

And the other half of establishing a Palestinian State HAS to include the stopping of the Arab War against Israel. It IS still the Arab goal to eradicate Israel. In 2002, Saudi Arabia DID propose that the Arab war against Israel stop in exchange for Israel allowing the permanent Palestinian State.

As for packing up and leaving the middle east... We HAVE been working through the UN on this matter... and leaving would mean a total pull out of the UN.

This would also lead to the continuation of the Arab War to eradicate Israel... Which means Israel would have two choices... one is being eliminated... the other is their possible only eventual defense.... Nuclear.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 01:26 PM

Please explain this...

You all clearly think the Chechnyan rebels are terrorists, but your President must think otherwise.

I'm genuinely curious to hear that you think.


Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 01:37 PM

First... From 1992 until 2000, Bill Clinton was our President, and I referred to him that way. I see you disavow that President Bush is your president. This comes as no surprise.

The article you point out is regarding one man who has been here for two years. He had NOTHING to do with this recent event in Russia.

This terrorist act was the killing of hundreds of students, many shot in the back. The man who was given asylum had precisely nothing to do with this attack.

I do think there was a major change in the methods in Chechnya... Or perhaps the "rebels" there have always made killing school children a part of their methodology, and we were not made aware of it.

I used to have empathy for Chechnya, now that they are using terrorist techniques, I don't.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 01:56 PM

Dang you get your panties in a bunch over my not calling George by his proper title don't you? If you'll note, I didn't say "President" Clinton either.

Rather then cause you any more grief, I'll start adding titles to people's names.

Regarding Ilias Akhmadov, the Russians seem to disagree with you...and that was PRIOR to the whole school hostage situation.

What about the bigger idea I posed. Do you really believe that violence, in the end, can ever bring peace? Do you really believe that? Or is your plan to control the world with an iron fist forever? Do you not think that all this flexing of power is not going to breed even more resentment for the US? Nearly the entire globe is looking at the US and shaking their heads. How does that make thew world safer?




Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 02:01 PM

In reply to:

If a murderer wants you dead, are you going to try to reason with him ? Or defend yourself.


This presupposes that the murderer is staring me in the face, with weapon drawn.

True, it might be a little late for this, but if you had the chance to prevent someone from becoming a murderer in the first place, wouldn't you take it? Aren't preventive measures better and less costly (both in terms of dollars and lives) than reactionary measures?
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 02:01 PM

Does President Bush make asylum decisions? And didn't the Homeland Security people challenge that decision?

I do think there is something to Spiff's statement, though. that The USA going into Afghanistan and certianly Iraq encouraged other nations to bomb and think about "doing unto others before they do unto you."

More statements and not questions - will I ever learn?
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 02:04 PM

To start with, Most of the world is not looking at us and shaking their heads. In fact, after this weekend, a lot more are seeing how hard this fight will be, and are, if they are being honest, starting to understand these terrorists have a common goal.

Russia thought it was safe from terrorism because it opposed us... they were wrong.

And I have no interest in controlling the world with an Iron fist. I DO, however, understand that sometimes violence is needed to defeat evil. What happened in Russia was an act of evil.

Looking at your position, that violence only leads to more violence... On 9/11/01, we were bombed in a sneak attack. On 12/07/41, We were bombed in an earlier sneak attack. I gather that you would have negotiated with the Japanese then, too ? Afterall, violence only brings more vioence.

And for clarity... you said "your president", not "our president" ... and I don't wear panties.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 02:08 PM

Donald, in 2001, Osama Bin Laden planned the World Trade Center bombing. He was in Afghanistan, as part of the Taliban, and supported by the Taliban. They bombed US ... We responded.

I know you have a big heart, but Bin Laden and his followers will not negotiate peace...
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 02:22 PM

PM - Preventing a murderer from becoming one is not a proveable science. Sure, I wish we could do just that, prevent a murderer from becoming one.

Look at Iraq, the vast majority of the country wants the new government to succeed... and the terrorists are a small minority of ANY country. Why does 99 % of any county manage not to become homicidal ? They have a fringe that loves to kill. One major difference between them and us, their governments don't put a stop to it. Picture Timothy McVeigh and his ilk with our government not paying attention... they would be terrorists... (oops... they succeeded, and were terrorists... some people just plain HATE).

By the way, if anyone looked at the link to the new Iraqi constitution, you would see it calls for Islam to be the state religion... not exactly the language a US puppet would use.

It is a pretty good read... and a great start for the Iraqi people to live in freedom.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 02:32 PM

Sorry...boxers.

A conservative friend of mine suggested the idea of a single term president, that serves for six years. I kind of like the idea.

With the system we have now, the new president gets into office and spends the beginning of his first term getting his new team assembled and just getting the transition underway. Then he needs to almost immediately beging thinking about the re-election campaign. Maybe not actively campaigning, but it's there in the background. Many of their policies need to be made based on what will keep them in office for a second term.

Six years...one term. What do you think? What are some pros and cons to the idea?



Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 02:39 PM

BigWill mentioned that yesterday ... All we need to do is get 67 Senators to OK the idea for a new amendment... and 38 States to ratify it, and we are good to go.

There are some parts of the idea that have merit... but the likelyhood pretty small.

My Liberal sister was stopped in her tracks when I suggested the best finance reform... You can give as much as you want to any candidate... but it will be fully disclosed. Want to give Pat Buchanon $10 million ? Go for it... but it will be publicized...

If you are Joe Blow running for President (no President Blow jokes, people... ) , and want to take $1 million from the "Pedophiles for Freedom", go for it... but that will ALSO be disclosed.

And to bring some humor into this... perhaps we could stop terror by making all those caught listen to Mr. Buchanan 24/7 ...
Posted by: jorge016

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 02:50 PM

Any ideas on how to limit the length of the campaign-we lived in Iowa for a few years and it seemed that within weeks of the completed election, talk turned to the next Iowa caucus. The election of our President has become a multi-media industry-in my opinion too much time and money are spent campaigning.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 02:55 PM

Well... For starters, reduce the size of government. If the government was not the focus of so many people's lives, the long election cycle would not exist.

The Federal Government brings in more $$$$ than the entire Fortune 500 combined... There are estimates the campaign will hit $1 billion this year... which is 1/20th of one percent of the size of the government's annual "take" ...

Ask ANY businessman if He/She would like to keep the advertising that low as a percentage of revenue...
Posted by: spiffnme

re: Campaign reform - 09/07/04 02:57 PM

I'm all for overhauling the campaigning system. It boils down to the guy with the most money usually wins.

Debates...If you're on the ballot in all 50 states, you should be part of the Presidential debates. Much like every station broadcasts major Presidential speaches, the debates should be on every station. They should be annoyingly difficult not to watch. The FCC could easily say that all OTA broadcast stations must air the debates.

Fund Raising - Something needs to be done to balance the field. The biggest reason there are only two "real" parties is that the other candidates don't get enough exposure. They don't get the exposure because they can't afford the TV time. I TOTALLY agree about the full disclosure of all donations. Although I'm not so sure I'm totally opposed to the radical idea of eliminating all private and corporate donations all together. It's the money that corrupts. Give each candidate (who manages to get on all 50 states ballot) an equal amount of campaign money. If they all have the same amount of money (government money, so that no candidate is beholdent to any corporation or special interest), it would go a loooong way to helping fix the problem.


Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 03:07 PM

Don't get me wrong - I should have been more specific.

I thought we needed to go in there, to Afghanistan, and get the main heads of that hydra. I was supporting THAT war.

Iraq I didn't understand the point of. After all this time I still don't. Oil is the closest to accurate reason I can see, but I have heard good reasons against that theory even coming from the peace niks. (Though I forget what they are now).

Thank you for sharing your perspectives on why we went in there and the good that came of it. I just have to come to my own opinions, of course.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: re: Campaign reform - 09/07/04 03:12 PM

Spiff ... With the First Amendment, completely getting the campaign expense under control will never happen, which is a GOOD thing... Once you start limiting speech, where does it stop ?

If money corrupts... then think about the size of government... Larger than the entire fortune 500.. THAT is where the corrupting force comes in... not the ads...


Posted by: jorge016

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 03:14 PM

But how will we ever reduce the size of gov't-these guys appeal to the general electorate by promising the moon. Once elected they can't possibly deliver on the promises. I'm an advocate for term limits, but don't see that as a cure all. The amount of $$$ spent on the lavish production of the national conventions is crazy. And what did we see-it used to be that the conventions were all televised and the electorate was privy to all the business of the convention. Now we see what the national committees and networks choose.

I just started reading a book (fiction) called "Term Limits" by Vince Flynn. Within the first few chapters 3 prominent politicians are assassinated. The group who takes responsibity writes a communique stating that until the President and Congress reduce spending and pass a zero based budget, more assassinations will occur. A violent way to start a revolution, but is making for an interesting read.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 03:15 PM

Donald... When you get the chance, look at the site I posted earlier... and read what the Iraqis put into their constitution.... what you will read is a reaction to everything they did not have under Hussein. Freedom, Voting rights, etc...

Also ... There is no doubt that Hussein would eventially have nukes...
Posted by: littleb

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 03:15 PM

I know this will never happen, but, I would prefer a parliamentary form of government as they have in Europe, where the majority party leader becomes the prime minister/president and an election for a new government can be called for at anytime, depending upon the faith the electorite have in the ruling party.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 03:19 PM

I read Term Limits ... pretty good book. As for how to reduce the size of government... a lot of that gets to the "Civics Lesson" I mentioned yesterday... People really have no idea how much the government controls our lives...

If you get a check from the government, they own a part of you, and they know it. I wish I had the answer to getting people to truly understand how much better off we could be... but I don't.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: re: Campaign reform - 09/07/04 03:31 PM

Giving a money to a campaign is "free speech"?

What do you consider "limits to free speech"? Are President Bush's "freedom zones" not limits to free speech? Are not allowing the press to show the flag drapped coffins returning from Iraq, not a limit to free speech?

It's not the ads that corrupt. It's where the money came from to pay for the ads. Do you not think that both the Dems and Reps have the Drug companies best interests in mind? What about the energy industry? You can't possibly think that there's no connection to the pro-energy policies of this current administration, and the amount of money and favors that it's received from them do you?

If those favors and money were eliminated, we'd get a more honest government. A government that did not bend over backward to big corporate money. This isn't a party issue, both sides are in so deep with corporate ties it's sick. No more flights on corporate jets, no more massive donations...end it.

527's...like the Swift boat people, and MoveOn.org, have every right to exist. That's free speech. But they too need to be closely watched. They need to receive money ONLY from personal donations. Corporations should not be able to support these groups. What donations they receive should be fully disclosed.

Are we a country of the people, or of the corporations? Corporations should stop receiving rights as though there were a person.

Posted by: craigsub

Re: re: Campaign reform - 09/07/04 03:44 PM

Spiff, I understand why this is frustrating... But every law limiting campaigning is easy to get around. Outlaw corporations giving money ? Then the Board of the corporation will do it. Corporations are not people, true, but they are made up of people.

As far as limiting access to coffins... that is a practice dating back to WWII ... that is a reasonable limit, not politicizing death... For either side... The first amendment was primarily to deal in plotical speech, as the British government at the time would jail a person for disagreeing with the King.

And yes, giving money to the candidate of your choice is free speech....

Yes, I agree there is corruption, but outlawing the giving of money will ensure it is done in secret.... go with full disclosure and let the people KNOW what money was being given to whom, by whom...
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: re: Campaign reform - 09/07/04 03:49 PM

Why not audit their books? With all the corporate scandals of late, laws have been passed that require outside auditing. Why should campaigns not be audited? Eliminate the outside money, and insist on an audit of every penny that's spent. If they've spent more than they're budget, they've got some questions to answer.

Full disclosure is a good thing, but that won't stop the fact that these politicians will still be indebted to these huge donations.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: re: Campaign reform - 09/07/04 04:07 PM

Spiff, All auditing would do is show who did the donating. The problem with auditing is time... by nature, auditing happens after the campaign is done. (Think income taxes) ... Full disclosure would do the same thing, and rather than have shadow groups, you have candidates or parties receiving the $$$$.

Of course, when this "pipe dream" gets passed... all you guys can abuse me... "That Friggin Craigsub, NOW we get to listen to candiate "A" tell us about Candidate "B" getting $4 million from the "Sheeplove Foundation" and "B" telling us how "A" got $4 million from the "Give each 5 year old an UZI" fund..." ...

Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 05:49 PM

Donald -

First of all, I can't believe you didn't get flamed harder about using the term "occupiers". Iraq is a functioning, independent, self-governed country. The interim government has FULL power to request that we leave. They have their own constitution (thanks Craig for the link).

That word seems to pop up a lot lately and it's discouraging. It seems like people forget that we do not invade countries like Germany did with intent on controlling or occupying. The blood of our soldiers paints the soil of other nations so that they can be free. Then, when we are done, we pack up our things, clean our wounds, and head home. Perhaps someone should go remind those ingrate Frogs of how many of our guys died so that they could eat their croissants and look down their nose at the Americans.

As far as the War For Oil argument, I really would like to have someone present a cogent argument in support of this position. It just doesn't make sense. We're not getting squat out of this. It's costing us a ton of money and I don't see free Iraqi oil pumping in here. If you want to slap an alternative theory onto why Bush took on this war, take a look at this article. Someone sent that to me one day. I'm not sure that I am fully on board with Buchanan on this, but it's a heck of a lot more plausible than the War For Oil position.

As far as term limits go, we should be looking at term limits for our Senators and Representatives instead of concerning ourselves with the president. The floors of Congress are where the real corruption lies. It's there that you have career politicians prostituting the country for their own gain. They serve their primary goal at all times.....to maintain their own power and position. Whatever good intentions they had going in fall by the wayside when they get a whiff of that corrupting scent of special interest.
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/07/04 05:50 PM

I was only playing with spiff on that one. My blaming of Senator Kerry was strictly tongue in cheek.

I also meant no disrespect when I addressed the President solely by his last name. I love the guy.
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/07/04 06:00 PM

Uhh...

The Supreme Court actually stepped in and PREVENTED the election from being stolen.

One of Mr. Gore's advisors, a Mr. Daley... from Chicago... remember him? He had a prior history of stealing elections. This attempt was simply another attempt that got thwarted...


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 06:49 PM

In reply to:

perhaps we could stop terror by making all those caught listen to Mr. Buchanan 24/7 ...


Change that to Pat Robertson and you have yourself the definition of true torture.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 06:51 PM

Make it Pat Robertson and Hillary Clinton debating... Bi-partison Hell...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: re: Campaign reform - 09/07/04 07:09 PM

Hey guys! School started so I have been very busy.
But I do have a moment now to interject (I did say earlier that I majored in PoliSci - and that I currently teach gov't right? ).

You guys probably wouldn't like a parliamentary system any better than what we have. From my studies of the Italian and German systems in college I remember concluding that they suck. Lots of politics involved in creating and maintaining coalitions/gov'ts. The proportional representation those gov'ts allow seems cool, but on a national scale it is really meaningless - the major parties still dominate.

Spiff, the main reason why there are only two major parties is the winner-take-all electoral system. The party with the broadest appeal wins all of a states electors (in the case of the Presidential election) rather than a percentage of electors corresponding to the election returns. Same for Congressional districts: the Greens, Commies and Libertarians will always get assed out unless they concentrate in one area.

And from what we see of term limits here in California... bad idea. Sounded good, I think I may have even voted for them years ago, but in practice it has left us with musical chairs in the state legislature, increased cronyism as politicians are forced out and looking for new work, a bunch of amateurs who look to their handlers and lobbyists for guidance, and a lack of vision (nobody is in office long enough to get things, big things, done). Bad, bad, bad.

What I like about a longer term for the President (and not necessarily limiting him to just one term - although that may not be a bad idea) is that he will be better insulated from political pressures for a longer period of time. Clearly many presidential actions are geared toward garnering support for re-election.

A benevolent dictatorship with periodic accountability to the people, not the politicians, special interest groups, etc... would be ideal for a country this size. Japan is toying with the idea of direct democracy (everybody voting on every issue on-line); want to bet how that experiment will work out?
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 07:44 PM

I don't think I used the word occupiers, but that is beside the point of your message.

I do believe the soldiers are there in order to free the people. I just don't think that is all there is to it for the people calling the shots. And a lot of people would agree with me - but that is not a good argument.

I don't want to argue the point. It would be a battle of wits with me as the unarmed man.

I read the Buchanan piece too and it sounds plausible and at least partly right. I am glad he started it out like he did or he would have just come off as antisemitic period.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 07:56 PM

In reply to:

I do believe the soldiers are there in order to free the people.


You forget that the people are already free. The soldiers are still there because if they weren't, to gov't would be overthrown and all hell would break loose -- more than it already has, that is.

To those who think I'm flip-flopping, I never said we should get out of Iraq ASAP. I do realize that once something like this is started, it has to be continued to at least a point where it is safe to withdraw without losing what was already accomplished.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 07:58 PM

I promised to find quotes from the current admin stating that Iraq was an imminent threat. Thankfully my good man, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has set up an entire database online of misleading statements regarding Iraq by the current admin. I just plugged in "Bush" and "Urgent Threat" and got four hits.

Iraq on the Record
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 08:01 PM

Don't forget to search under Rumsfeld, too.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 08:28 PM

Spiff, This is 38 pages long, and so far I have found a lot of the same statements that were made by Bill Clinton, Al Gore and the vast majority of other democrats.

The author of this piece is not exactly a neutral source. Congressman Waxman is every bit a complete party guy.

Remember, In 1999, the United Nations said Iraq had rnough materials to make 25,000 liters of Anthrax. Bill Clinton Bombed Iraq over WMD's.

The file quotes Joseph Wilson regarding HIS now known to be false statements.

And a major point I will emphasize again, The WMD's were known to be there. It was Hussein's job to prove to the inspectors he had destroyed them. It was not the inspector's job to prove they were there.

As I pointed out, and learned from researching sources like the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Mid-East times, Hussein HAD WMD's. The source for this was the United Nations. They also had four months ro hide the evidence of said weapons. Every Biological and chemical weapon Iraq had in 1999 would fit into a gymnasium.

Let's think about this... You really don't want to get caught with WMD's ... but have them... Where in a 438,000 Square Km country, over 1/2 of which is DESERT, could you hide a 100x50x30 foot stockpile of weapons with four months to do it ?

I LOVE Dr. Kay's assertions that the trailers found were for making weather balloons... THAT is credible.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/07/04 08:54 PM

A Site... www.techcentralstation.com/092503F.html

And in 1998, President Clinton made the case that Bin Laden had ties with Hussein, even though he loathed the secular nature of th Iraqi dictator. He even issued an executive order regarding this connection.

As for some insight as to what I think, there is no doubt that President Clinton was also given at least 2 chances to have Bin Laden turned over. He turned those chances down.

Why am I not pounding home those points ? Simple, It solves nothing. We may have been spared 9/11, as some on the right suggest, Had President Clinton just done his job.

I don't buy THAT argument, either.... SOMEONE in Al Queda would have picked up the slack. This entire world terror network does work loosely together, and feed off each other. In World War II, we were getting our asses kicked for the first year. You did not see people trying to undermine the efforts of the Roosevelt administration, as some are doing to our President Bush.

We are at war, and will be for a long time. I just read an excellent piece in US World and News Report. The basics were this enemy is taught to hate us, and people like Bin Laden use vulnerable people... typically young men with no family ties, and promise them hero status either here or in heaven for doing Allah's work... It also points out that Iran is an even bigger threat. The author also makes the point the the scariest scenario for Iran IS a democratic Iraq. Great reading... and one thing he does NOT make the mistake of believing: The fallicy that if we would just UNDERSTAND what makes the terrorist hate us, we could learn to get along.

It was last week's issue...


Posted by: BigWill

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 12:58 AM

Man, you guys sure love arguing around in circles about the Iraq war, huh?

I'm stunned, however, that there is apparently a lack of consensus on the terrorists - their motivations, their intents, their utter lack of compunction, the impossibility of negotiations, the impossibility of inculcating new generations in Iran, Pakistan and elsewhere with the notion that the US is actually quite wonderful.

Of course they're the bad guys. Of course they want to kill us and our children. Why try to assign human attributes to such villains?



Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 07:28 AM

BigWill.. No circles here... I want a straight line to the elimination of those who kill innocent civilians. I still pray for them, but doubt there will be a conversion of their black hearts. And yes, I saw your ... no foul, my friend
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 04:03 PM

In reply to:

I want a straight line to the elimination of those who kill innocent civilians. I still pray for them, but doubt there will be a conversion of their black hearts.


It is difficult for me to understand how people can talk about elimination and God (prayer) in the same breath.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 04:41 PM

Ooh...goody. Let's get this thread talking about Politics AND Religion.

Surprise, surprise though...I'm with you on this one Peter. One of the many reasons I'm an athiest.

Posted by: bigjohn

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 04:52 PM

In reply to:

Let's get this thread talking about Politics AND Religion



for heavens sakes, NO!!

its been hard enough trying to keep up with just politics.. dont throw me in another monkey wrench!!

i just saw where some anti-bush book is supposed to be coming out this week. apparently, it is a sort of 'tell-all' about the whole bush clan. lord knows what all it talks about, but i am sure chris matthews and the rest will give me all the highlights.

i wonder if its a complete coincedence the book is coming out 8 weeks before the election.. ? HHHMMMM.. let me think about that one...

bigjohn
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 05:10 PM

The Democrats have been pissing and moaning about this swiftboat thing and calling for the President to denounce their actions....the actions of a group not directly related to the President's campaign. Now, today we have Terry McAuliffe who heads the DNC doing the same thing trying to call out the President on his Vietnam record. This is complete hypocracy. Instead of an independantly funded group, you now have the DNC directly slinging the same mud. Oh, "let's make this about the issues".....riiiiight. What are the chances that Kerry publicly condems his statements?....or salutes his service in the National Guard?....Let's see how quickly the media jumps on them for this double-standard....not holding my breath.

You have the Boston Globe suing to get Bush's records released and the Left is cheering them on, trying to keep the drual off of their shirts. Now, should another media outlet have the nuts to do the same thing with Kerry's records and watch the wrath both from the Democrats and the media alike.

Don't get me wrong, I don't particularly mind what the Globe is doing. It's their right and those records should be public. The problem is in the media and polical double-standard here. Both candidates should be subjected to the same level of scrutiny. Otherwise, you simply further clarify the bias.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 05:15 PM

PM, You have two groups... Group one is 100 school children. Group two is 20 terrorists holding guns, pointed at the children. Is there any doubt about which group I want eliminated ?

Yes, I will pray for the terrorists. No, I don't expect they will change.


Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 05:18 PM

And now you have this issue of drug use coming up. I'm not saying that it shouldn't be discussed, but how much are you going to hear from the media about how much pot Kerry probably smoked while marching on Washington?....you won't....and how is this pertinant to the majors issues of today?

This presidential election is deteriorating daily...It's discouraging. It's like watching Jerry Springer, but without the toothless wonders and inbred kissing-cousins.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 05:27 PM

...and how about this book that's out now:Treachery.. (read the summary - it was posted on Drudge yesterday)
This is the kind of crap that keeps me up at night. Kerry wants to go over and sit in the lap and hug the major EU members when we more and more find that they are the ones funneling the weapons to these lunatics.

Man, I'm getting myself all wired up....I'm outta here...gonna go home and look into my daughters eyes and try to forget for a second how screwed up our world is.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 07:17 PM

It is curious that we atheists seem to be more threatened by the Christian conservatives here in the US than we are the Muslim conservatives abroad. Those guys make our religous right look like Jane Fonda, Kerry, et al, in comparison. What is the worst that Falwell and the ilk would do? Certainly not fly planes into buildings, certainly not shoot children in the back as they're running for their parents' arms, not shoot mortars from 1000 year old holy sites, etc...

Putin has made some very clear, powerful, concise, unpoliticized statements regarding the terrorists. (He is far too blunt to be successful in our touchy-feely political landscape ). Do you think the Russians' resolve will get reasoned away by their pacifists? I'm thinking not, based on the crowds in Red Square and the Russian people's history of suffering and endurance. Compared to the millions upon millions of Russians lost in WWII, the utter devestation from the scorched earth strategy and siege warfare, the casualties from a global war on terror will probably not even dent their national psyche until long after the terrorists have been crushed.

I'm hoping for major policy swings in their dealings with Arab nations, but I guess we will have to wait and see.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 07:55 PM

In reply to:

Is there any doubt about which group I want eliminated?


Ok, this is the last religious thing I will say (I promise):

WWJD?
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 08:38 PM

Get crucified?
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/08/04 08:38 PM

I am pretty sure he would agree... Innocent life is to be protected. Heck, I think even athiests think that... By the way, I am not religious... I see to much BS at most churches... but that is going WAY off topic... Suffice it to say this, when I am at a church, and something from the actual Bible is discussed, I am almost shocked....

One of my closest friends is gay... needless to say, we have some REALLY interesting conversations. Politics, religion, football... Anyway, I get my fill of "religious" people... when they judge him.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/09/04 12:53 AM

Amen to that.

Since we've all been a bit "argumentative" lately, I'd like to state for the record that I still like you all and would share a beer/meal with any of you. Heck, if Kerry wins, I'll buy everyone here a beer -- provided you can make it to Ben & Nicks in Oakland on November 3rd.

After all, we're all Americans and we all love our country enough to want to change things that we think need improvement. Participating in open debate and hearing differing opinions are an important part of being a productive citizen.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/09/04 01:52 AM

This whole "what to do about terrorism" debate seems to boil down to the old "where do you draw the line", aka "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter".

I think you cross a line when you target innocents.

If country A is occupying country B and some of country B's people use guerilla tactics to attack a superior occupying forces I don't have a problem with those people even if some of A's forces get killed. I call that war, even if undeclared and "low intensity".

If they start killing off non-military people (aid workers in Iraq, kids & parents in Russia) that is a different story. Hunt 'em down and hang 'em high.

Yes I realize where this leads. In WW2 both Axis and Allied powers crossed that line when they bombed major cities outside of the industrial areas. We probably crossed that line in Vietnam in a few cases as well (burning villages etc..).

IMO the big question is "what happens if you leave them alone -- do they go back to being farmers and doctors or do they grow into an arrogant, repressive dictatorship ?".

Maybe I'm oversimplifying this, but I do not see any inherent good in the groups capturing and killing workers in Iraq or the group who occupied the school this week. Those are not freedom fighters, those are the animals which breed in conflict situations and which grow into the worst kind of regimes if we let them flourish.

For the record, I don't think Bush was completely honest about his reasons for going into Iraq, but "someone had to do it". My big criticism of the move into Iraq was that the US was not really ready for what happened after Hussein's forces were defeated.

If the post-war logistics had been handled better I don't think this debate would be happening. Every Iraqi ex-pat I know was cheering when the US took Saddam down -- but 6 months later they are all squirming a bit because it's hard to say that the Iraqis are better off today on balance.

It's easy to snipe from the sidelines, but if Calpine can set up 10 or 20 natural-gas-fired power plants in 6 months in the US I can't understand why we couldn't get the power back on faster in Iraq. You don't win hearts & minds by waging a war then fumbling the rebuild.

What do I know. I live in Canada and we wimped out anyways...

JB
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/09/04 02:31 AM

In another generation, when France's Muslim population hits the +25% mark and we hear demands for an independent Islamic state in what was France, do French authorities become occupiers? If French Islamic "freedom fighters" blow up French nurseries, busses, pizza parlors, will we hear the explanation that these atrocities are merely zealous warriors against occupation?

Why are US forces seen as occupiers in Iraq? We have removed a criminal, totalitarian Nazi regime, pumped massive amounts of aid into the country, rebuilt infrastructure a bit faster than the "freedom fighters" blow up the infrastructure, permitted the emergence of political institutions which have generated a constitution, prepared for national and local elections ... we are "occupiers" because we are seen as Christians present on holy Islamic soil.

What some folks don't seem to get is that we did not start this clash of civilizations. September 11, 2001 is the anniversary of a bloody wake up call - that a civilization is engaging in a religious war against the West.

Want to hear what that civilization is saying about 9/11?

Check out the current MEMRI

Here is a part of their recent review of Middle East media coverage of the anniversary - tell me there isn't a religious/cultural war going on:

Introduction
Days following the release of the September 11 Commission report this summer, Sheik Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, the former dean of the faculty of Shariah at the University of Qatar and a leading Arab reformist, wrote an article in the London Arabic daily Al-Hayat on August 2, 2004, asking, "Why won't we [Arabs] take the opportunity of the appearance of the September 11 commission's report to ponder why destructive violence and a culture of destruction have taken root in our society? Why won't we take this opportunity to reconsider our educational system, our curricula, including the religious, media, and cultural discourse that cause our youth to live in a constant tension with the world?"
Within hours of the September 11 attacks, conspiracy theories began to emerge in the Middle East.(1) They were repeated by the highest echelons of powers, including Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was quoted in the Egyptian paper Al-Ahram weeks after the attack: "I find it hard to believe that people who were learning to fly in Florida could, within a year and a half, fly large commercial airlines and hit with accuracy the towers of the World Trade Center which would appear, to the pilot from the air, the size of a pencil. Only a professional pilot could carry out this mission." A year following the attacks, Saudi Arabia's powerful Interior Minister Prince Nayef more explicitly blamed "the Zionists."

During this past year leading up to the third anniversary of the attacks, there has been a consistent stream of articles and TV programs in the region's government-controlled media continuing to focus on conspiracy theories surrounding the attacks. The commemoration within the region's media includes statements made by leading professors, religious leaders, government officials, and even Muslim-Americans.

These conspiracy theories primarily state that Arabs and Muslims were not involved and that the U.S. government and/or Jews/Israel are the true culprits. While it should be no surprise that Iran, a country with no official ties with the U.S., is supporting many lies regarding September 11, the U.S.'s closet Arab allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are also supportive of these lies.

The Egyptian Media
In Egypt, Former Dean of Humanities at 'Ein Shams University, Mustafa Shak'a, was interviewed by Iqra TV on June 16, 2004. Shak'a attributed the September 11 attacks to the U.S. and the Jews: "To this day, we don't know who attacked the U.S. on September 11. Why is the attack attributed to bin Laden although it has not been proven that he was involved in the operation? It is way above his capabilities. Those who created him have made him a legend. The operation was 100% American, and this is not the place to elaborate, but what proves the operation was a Jewish one is that five Jews climbed up a high building and filmed the first attack of the first plane…"(2)

Another Egyptian professor, Galal Amin of the American University, wrote an article for Al-Ahram in April 2004: "The claim that the Greater Middle East Initiative aims, wholly or partly, to eliminate terror of the type seen on September 11, 2001 is unconvincing, for several reasons. One is that there is still doubt that the September attacks were the outcome of Arab and Islamic terror. No conclusive proof to this effect is yet available. Many writers, American and European, as well as Arab, suspect that the attacks were carried out by Americans, or with American assistance, or that Americans knew about them and kept silent. Such doubts are strong and rest on damning evidence, but the U.S. administration forcefully censors them and bans any discussion of the matter – something that, by the way, makes one suspect the U.S. administration's commitment to 'knowledge.' But enough of that."

In an article in the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhouriyya titled 'The Secret Israeli Weapon,' published on April 23, 2004, deputy editor Abd Al-Wahhab 'Adas accused the Jews of perpetrating all terrorism throughout the world, including the September 11 attacks: "Actually, it is they who are behind the events of September 11. Proof of this is what was broadcast by the Canadian news agency on September 17 … that prior to the events the CIA had received a report that the Mossad would carry out an attack operation on American territory, in a new attempt to divert attention from the barbaric Israeli operations against the Palestinian people. Further [proof] of this is the news in the American papers at that time, that 4,000 Jews of American origin who worked at the World Trade Center received instructions from the Mossad not to go to work that day. We also find a heavy blackout by America regarding the results of the investigations into the September 11 events. So far it has published no conclusions, and has not told us who the real perpetrator of these events is, as revealed by the investigations. Since America knows very well that the Jews and the Mossad are behind these events, it will never declare the results of the investigations..."

On August 9, 2004 Galal Dweidar, editor of the Al-Akhbar Egyptian government daily, wrote an article titled 'Barbarian Imperialist Occupation,' questioning who was really behind the attacks: "…There are strong doubts on the identity of those who schemed the terrorist action that targeted the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York…"

To commemorate the attacks of two years earlier, on September 11, 2003 Al-Arabiyya TV conducted an interview with Egyptian Muhammad Al-Amir Atta, father of Muhammad Atta, a leader of the 19 hijackers. He characterized the September 11 attacks as "100% made-in-America. All the facts that have been verified and published in the press, on television, and in the statements of officials in the U.S. and abroad prove definitively that this even is an American product, as I said on Egyptian television 72 hours after the event… The subject [at hand] is not my son; it is more general. Is my son or any of the other 19 young men – four of whom died over a year before the event – are these young men the ones who went to the 4,000 Jews and Americans who work at the World Trade Center to tell them not to go [there]? What I am saying was not stated in the newspapers, not stated by you, and not by me; rather, it was stated by America, and that is the truth. Four thousand American Jews did not come to work on September 11. [Moreover], none of the 101 Jewish businessmen – without exception – who booked tickets for business purposes for the four flights in America boarded the four planes, and none of them notified the airlines [that they would not be boarding]. About a week after the event, the American authorities arrested 117 Israelis – and not only Jews but Jewish Israelis – who had come from Israel to the U.S. and live in different groups located in the same vicinity in Florida. They were found to be holding detailed maps on the routes of the four planes. They were questioned, but no information was released. [Moreover], the FBI announced it had recorded two telephone calls on the 11th made by two congressmen at the Capitol to two American newspapers, in which they said, 'The zero hour has come, and the competition begins tomorrow.'"

For its September 10, 2003 edition, the Egyptian weekly Akher Sa'a interviewed several experts for articles commemorating September 11, 2001. Among them was General Mahmoud Khalaf, an Egyptian strategic expert, who said: "What took place on September 11 was a conspiratorial plan by the U.S. to justify invading Afghanistan and later Iraq. In 1999, books were published exposing a plan by far right-wing American hawks to fulfill the dream of a large empire, and there was an opportunity [for this] on September 11. They did not wait for investigations to expose the perpetrator of the operation, not even for those exposing the negligence in preventing the event. The American invasion of Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, in other words, only three weeks after the September 11 event. This is not at all a sufficient period in which to transfer [military] forces, train them, and draft the operational plans. This proves these plans were ready at an earlier date and that the forces were close to Afghanistan, the results of which are unknown to this day. [In addition], the declared goals were not achieved. Afghanistan did not develop, it has not democracy or control, and bin Laden was not caught. But what was achieved is that the Americans positioned themselves along the borders of Russia, China, central Asia, and in the center of Islamic countries."

Also interviewed for Akher Sa'a was General Ali Hafzi, governor of the northern Sinai district: "The September 11, 2001 event was meant to determine and direct the events of the 21st century in order to force American hegemony on the world and to enable it to be the sole superpower in the world and prevent the Soviet Union from returning, or prevent the emergence of new superpowers, such as China, Japan, and others… The Americans have not yet announced the results of the investigation of the event. Moreover, an important document published after the event says that 6,000 Jews who used to work daily with the companies and offices housed in the World Trade Center did not go to [that area] on the day of September 11. Let us take a look at what [the U.S.] has achieved so far, beginning with the invasion of Afghanistan. The U.S. has already reached the border of the former Soviet Union in order to prevent an attempt on the part of [the Soviets] to reemerge. It has also reached the Chinese border in order to keep it from spreading to a particular local or regional border so that it does not reach the stage of becoming a world superpower…"


Posted by: bridgman

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/09/04 02:49 AM

>>In another generation, when France's Muslim population hits the +25% mark and we hear demands for an independent Islamic state in what was France, do French authorities become occupiers? If French Islamic "freedom fighters" blow up French nurseries, busses, pizza parlors, will we hear the explanation that these atrocities are merely zealous warriors against occupation?

Yikes. No. Sorry, I thought I was being more clear.

If a military force moves into a country and supports a new government I think we can expect some friction. If immigration and differential birth rates in France result in >25% Muslim population that does NOT make the French an occupying power. We have the same stresses in Canada, almost 50% of the population in Toronto is recent immigrants or their first-generation descendants. Scary.

If some Iraqis have a problem with the current government in Iraq and take potshots at the US military forces I could argue that they are "freedom fighters" but we mostly call them "Iraqi casualties". I'm trying to say "take your fight to the military, they are organized to handle your complaints. Don't pick on the unarmed innocents".

Anyone who targets non-combatants in France, Iraq, or anywhere else IMO is a murderer and deserves to be hunted down and killed.

There is a lot of sabotage to the oil infrastructure but I'm not hearing about much sabotage on the civil infrastructure (power, water, phone etc..). I could be wrong there, of course...

Again, I do agree there are some fundamental problems here. We do have a religious war going on in the sense that there is an organized Muslim movement against what they perceive as a decadent and heavy-handed West, but *most* Muslims are not part of the struggle.

This is going to be an ugly struggle, no question. I am trying to weigh in on the side that has zero tolerance for terrorism but obviously not doing a very good job.
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 02:43 PM

In reply to:

you forgot bribing the Supreme Court to put the final touches on a stolen election...




I an SO FRIGGIN' TIRED of hearing this whine from the Democrats. The votes were counted no less than three times, and Bush won every recount. If there was any problem with the election, it was a ballot that was confusing to some voters that was chosen by a DEMOCTRATIC administration. Y'all need to get over the "stolen election" thing, because it is complete bull$#!!!

Mark
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 02:48 PM

In reply to:

And Israel - how far have they gotten by coming down very hard on the Palestinans?




How can you combat a group that is willing to strap a bunch of explosives to their bodies and blow themselves up on a bus full of schoolchildren? The only way to deter such attacks would be to make it known that every family member of every suicide bomber would be searched out and eliminated, and I don't think that even the Israeli secret police has the stomach to do that.

Mark
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 03:01 PM

How do you account for eliminating 1,000's of (mostly black) Democratic voters from even being able to vote?


Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 03:19 PM

Russia is not entirely innocent. They let so many other provinces break away but not the Chechens who they deported wholesale years ago, and have been awful to - so the Russians just upped the ante I think. They have not gone to the extent SOME of the Chechens have gone to - true.

Not that being nice is the solution now, but addressing some of the injustices done would help. Meanwhile - yes we have to be strong in our approach to them. Military strength with work toward justice.

It would also help in our situation with Al Queda (here come the flames!!!) not that we could get anywhere by talking to them - but by dealing more fairly with the Palestineans it would take away some of their recruits.

I do apprecuiate other points of view - this is what I think would be the best way. Even the best case scenario kills off a lot of people on both sides - but less, hopefully, than what we have done recently.

This is not a wholesale condemnation of our approach - we do try at times to negotiate fairly and we are MUCH different than the terrorists, I agree.

Awaiting incoming...
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 03:27 PM

The Miami paper said that the newspaper combine that looked the situation over a few months later determined that there were three possible outcomes depending on which standards one used. Two of those outcomes of the vote in Florida had Gore winning, the third had Bush winning. (If my memory serves me - it is probably still on line somewhere).

The headline read something like "Bush would have won regardless"

???????????????

Maybe there was a later article that rebutted this 2-1 finding? Or maybe I did not get the nuance of how Bush would have won anyway?
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 03:30 PM

By the way, I do get the sense here that everyone loves their country and wants to be fair and just to other peoples while defending innocent lives.

And I am botheirng to post because I learn from rebuttals.

Just a reminder to myself in the midst of the arguments.
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/09/04 04:03 PM

In reply to:

Well... For starters, reduce the size of government. If the government was not the focus of so many people's lives, the long election cycle would not exist.




This is the 'for starters' answer to just about every problem in this country. 40 cents of every dollar generated in this country is consumed by the government. The government spends more and more money, and whenever you accept a government dollar, you subject yourself to onerous rules and regulations. Place health care under the government's care? The worst thing imaginable for the level of health care in this country. In this respect, the two rival political parties in this country are so close together idealogically as to be almost indistinguishable.

The job of the federal government ought to be to defend our borders, build roads, and very little else.

Mark
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/09/04 04:11 PM

In reply to:

It is difficult for me to understand how people can talk about elimination and God (prayer) in the same breath.




How about the entire old testament? God asked Isaac to eliminate Abraham (if I remember correctly...it's been a long time)...Sodom and Gemorrah...The great flood. The entire Judeo-Christian system is based on a document glorifying divine retribution!

Mark
Posted by: mhorgel

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 04:30 PM

In reply to:

How do you account for eliminating 1,000's of (mostly black) Democratic voters from even being able to vote?




To whom are you referring?

Mark
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 05:01 PM

OK....I'm not going to try to restate everything that this guy says, because it's too extensive. If you go to the following site, you will find this guy's extensive analysis of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 assertions. In there, if you look at Deceit #3 and 4, you will find a lengthy explanation of the Florida election scandal and Moore's (the Left's) assertions about the deprived votes and the recounts. LINK

It's an extremely long analysis which helps to debunk many of Moore's deceptions.

Am I having deja vu or have I posted this in the past?
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 05:12 PM

yes, it has been posted before.. i dont know if by you, but by someone. its still fun to go read. it just makes me have the same thoughts as i had the first time.. i find humor in the fact that this guy totally dissected every word and image in that whole movie to try and debunk as much as possible. i am sure he had a whole crew of people trying to find wrongs in this film. bottom line is, just the fact that he, and his party, felt compelled to do this, proves how scared they were/are of this movie.

i think its supposed to be out on DVD before the election? not real sure.. i would go buy 'roger and me' before i even thought about buying this one.

bigjohn
Posted by: jorge016

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 05:20 PM

Michael Moore's an entertainer with a political bent.
Fahrenheit 911 pisses people off, gives "the right" something to consume their time besides furthering their own agenda, and of course provokes a little thought. Unlike the Swift Boat Vets he sold a lot of tickets and made a lot of money, what does that make him-a pissed of Dem or one helluva capitalist. As far as the link goes, what would you expect the Independence Institute to say about Moore's claims? Might they have a political agenda?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/09/04 05:56 PM

In reply to:

The entire Judeo-Christian system is based on a document glorifying divine retribution!


I'd love to respond to this, but I already promised I wouldn't discuss religion any longer.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/09/04 07:38 PM

So, bridgman, who are you rooting for in the Iraq conflict? The guys who are just "defending their country from an occupying force" or the guys who are attempting to help the Iraqi people establish a representative gov't in Iraq?

The more I think about the war in Iraq the more it becomes clear that the long-term success of the new Iraqi gov't is pivotal in the war on terror. Why? Because we cannot kill all current AND future terrorists by waging war (without killing all the innocents as well, that is).

The only acceptable way to "win" completely is to get them to accept us, tolerate differences among themselves, and likely adopt some modern ways. A successful, secular western-style gov't with a thriving economy that creates great social benefits for the masses of its people - to have that in Iraq would be a great motivator to neighboring countries to shake off the regimes which oppress them, to disavow terrorist tactics and organizations, and to halt recruitment into those organizations. It's been said before, but the Arab world has got to change or we'll be faced with the same kind of irresolvable, protracted war the Israelis have. Their neighbors want them dead - that is why there is no Palestinian state. Any agreements the Arabs make with Israel will only be temporary, strategic lulls in the conflict.

2x6, thanks for the info - that made for some fun reading. Sounds like it could be Michael Moore's next movie: "Global Jewish/American Conspiracy to Rule the World." Not very catchy, I guess.

How ridiculous are those editors and bureaucrats to apparently believe that the Mossad has the ear of every Jew on the planet - and that 4000 Jews would stay home from work on 9-11, but let their friends and coworkers go off to die? Absurd bunch of people over there.

I'm getting ready to embrace the "gay gene" idea - the "moron gene" seems to be flourishing in the Middle East.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/09/04 07:47 PM

In reply to:

I'm getting ready to embrace the "gay gene" idea




...biting tongue...


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/09/04 08:57 PM

I just read a very excellent article that talks about truth and why is politically important. It's called Who Cares About the Truth?

Here's a choice exerpt:

"It follows that a necessary condition for fundamental rights is a distinction between what the government -- in the wide sense of the term -- says is so and what is true. That is, in order for me to understand that I have fundamental rights, it must be possible for me to have the following thought: that even though everyone else in my community thinks that, for example, same-sex marriages should be outlawed, people of the same sex still have a right to be married. But I couldn't have that thought unless I was able to entertain the idea that believing doesn't make things so, that there is something that my thoughts can respond to other than the views of my fellow citizens, powerful or not. The very concept of a fundamental right presupposes the concept of truth. Take-home lesson: If you care about your rights, you had better care about truth."

And another one:

"governmental transparency and freedom of information are the first defenses against tyranny. The less a government feels the need to be truthful, the more prone it is to try and get away with doing what wouldn't be approved by its citizens in the light of day, whether that means breaking into the Watergate Hotel, bombing Cambodia, or authorizing the use of torture on prisoners. Even when they don't affect us directly, secret actions like those indirectly damage the integrity of our democracy. What you don't know can hurt you."
Posted by: les9596

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/09/04 09:42 PM

In reply to:

Russia is not entirely innocent.



Neither are you. Neither am I. I do not want Americans to do to Russia now what the rest of the world did to the U.S. after 9/11. "Well, yes, it was bad, but the U.S. is not entirely innocent either. So we will sit in judgement of the two, and weigh their relative guilt, and proportion our blame accordingly."

Morally, there is only a difference of degree between the guy who steals my lawnmower and the guy who rapes my child. But if I can't see a threshold difference, an actionable difference, between the two in my real life, evolution will tend to select against me and my family.

Russians have done much wrong. But they are not tribal barbarian death cultists, riding out of the dark ages to blow up the whole world on their way to glory. I'd say there's a threshold difference between the two, just as there is a threshold difference between us and them. If we collectively are unable to see that difference, and act upon it, evolution will tend to select against us collectively.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/09/04 10:33 PM

>>So, bridgman, who are you rooting for in the Iraq conflict? The guys who are just "defending their country from an occupying force" or the guys who are attempting to help the Iraqi people establish a representative gov't in Iraq?

I'm rooting for the US/Britons (and the handful of Canadians ) all the way. I was just trying to make it clear that there are at least two different kinds of "resistance" at play in Iraq, and that nobody should even be TRYING to hang a "freedom fighter" placard on the groups who are kidnapping and killing aid workers. They are animals, not "guys defending their country from an occupying force", and deserve to be hunted down and eradicated. They will NOT get better when the conflict ends, they will still be bullies and murderers.

There ARE a lot of pissed off Iraqis right now who fervently believe things were better for them before the war -- typically the middle classes who would be buying Axioms right now if the power wasn't off again and their place of work wasn't a smoking hole in the ground. These are the guys who will go back to work and become solid citizens once things settle down.

I just don't like seeing the likes of the group which bombed and shot a school full of children being treated with the same moral ambiguity as a group of pissed off Iraqis who felt they were better off before the war and are protesting & throwing stones at the US troops.

The first group needs to be hunted down and wiped out without mercy. The second group should be given a bit of consideration.

We're all reading too much into this thread. I shouldn't have piped in on politics when I was dog-tired. I was just replying to someone's comment that maybe we shouldn't be so hard on the REAL terrorists because they might have had a legitimate grip -- trying to say that "if you have a legitimate gripe and you're taking potshots at the troops I can sympathize although we're probably going to have to return fire and kill you -- but once you start killing innocents there is no return and no mercy, you get hunted down and wiped out".

Anyways, I'm even more tired tonight. Don't think this is helping.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/09/04 10:36 PM

les9596, I really liked what you had to say.

pmbuko, I'm not sure what your point was. I earlier voiced my irrelevant opinion that gov't should stop issuing marriage licenses altogether. That marriage seemed like a religous institution and should therefore be left to churches. The gov't should issue civil union permits (or whatever) to provide couples legal status and afford equal rights to all.
I'm not anti-gay. I just wanted to point out that if you attribute sexual behavior to your genetic makeup, then there is no point in condemning, or trying to rehabilitate, sexual deviants such as pedophiles, rapists, and the like. Further, if you attribute sexual behavior to genetic makeup, then what behaviors are NOT determined by your DNA? Criminal behavior? Cooperative behavior? Terrorist-type behavior?

I was not actually disagreeing with spiff, just playing devil's advocate. I was actually hoping to start a discussion centered on the notion that behavior does often stem from genetic causes (instinctive behavior), and that differences (including behavioral differences) exist between human races beyond the color of the skin. Further, that cultural differences are not only the product of disparate histories, but the product of variances in the genetic make-up of the population. We recognize such differences in different breeds of other species, but not in our own.

Back to the terrorists. Here's what some Arab leaders said recently (they don't all buy into the conspiracy theories that 2x6 showed us earlier):

***"What is the guilt of those children? Why should they be responsible for your conflict with the government?" Grand Sheik Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, Egypt's highest-ranking imam, railed during Friday prayers in the Egyptian town of Benha. "You are taking Islam as a cover and it is a deceptive cover; those who carry out the kidnappings are criminals, not Muslims."

Sheik Tantawi's refrain was a familiar one among Muslims who have felt unfairly tarred by the growing number of highly publicised bloodbaths perpetrated by fellow believers.

But on Saturday some prominent Arabs had a more sobering interpretation: corrupt, repressed Arab and Islamic societies have turned into breeding grounds for terrorism. It is a judgement rarely voiced in heavily censored Arab rhetoric.

"Most perpetrators of suicide operations in buses, schools and residential buildings around the world for the past 10 years have been Muslims," wrote Abdulrahman al-Rashed, general manager of the Al-Arabiya TV channel.

In a blunt column in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, he listed attacks carried out by Muslims in Iraq, Russia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. "Our terrorist sons are an end-product of our corrupted culture," he wrote. "The picture is humiliating, painful and harsh for all of us."***


Posted by: ringmir

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/10/04 09:05 AM

On the marriage licenses thing...I completely 100% agree. The government has no place issuing "marriage" licenses at all. Let every union be a "civil union" in the eyes of the Gov, and afford the same social privledges under a civil union to the two people involved regardless of race, gender, etc. Then if they want to be married in the eyes of thier respective religious power(s) so be it. That's a seperate issue.

Oh and while they're at it, get the words "under god" out of the pledge. That's a big crock of $hit. I always used to get in trouble for saying "AMEN" loudly after the pledge when they made us recite it... I have no problem pledging allegiance to the flag and thus to this country. I do have a problem claiming that this is "one nation under god." It isn't.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/10/04 01:49 PM

The main reason references to God should be stricken from all things government-related is that they were added so recently. "Under God" was added to the pledge in 1954. "In God We Trust" was placed on currency in 1955. In 1956, "In God We Trust" replaced E Pluribus Unum as the national motto. And ALL of it was done in an effort to "fluff ourselves up" and differentiate us from those heathen atheist commies in Russia.

Pathetic.
Posted by: Riffman

National Guard Memos - 09/10/04 01:56 PM

If I can inject another issue here, what does everyone think of the memos? Will it affect Bush adversely?

Also, I have seen some talk and mention of polls here. My opinion is that polls are only valid when looking at the parsed data for specific, battleground states given our electoral college method of electing presidents.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/10/04 02:00 PM

Yes, PMB, you are absolutely correct ... but why stop with offensive references on our currency, and the off key proclamations of school children ... I wait with anticipation your important work, for example, your expected efforts to remove offending references to the Eternal One from the Declaration of Independence ...

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/10/04 02:06 PM

"Creator" is much more ambiguous and open to interpretation. It is much more culturally and spiritually neutral, so I've got no problem with it.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: National Guard Memos - 09/10/04 02:08 PM

Are you talking about the memo I'm including below? If so, I'm not sure its authenticity has been verified. Come to think of it, it sounds extrememly contrived and fake.


"REHNQUIST MEMORANDUM" ON BUSH

From: W.R.
Absolutely CONFIDENTIAL

I'll bet you never thought you'd hear this from me, but G.W. Bush has got to be defeated in November.

Yes, I know, I'm a diehard conservative and was part of the majority that greased his way into the White House. But we had no idea the damage this guy and his friends would do in just four years, and how far they are willing to go in amassing total power and control into their hands.

Most pertinent to us on the court is what he has done to the judiciary. In effect, he has told us we're irrelevant. Whenever he wants something badly enough, he bends the Constitution, ignores the Separation-of-Powers established so brilliantly by the Founding Fathers, and simply finds a way for the President to do whatever he and his friends decide they want to do. (For example, GOP extremists in the House have introduced bills that would set the precedent of totally abolishing judicial review.)

Take the torture scandal, which is connected to the post-9/11 Patriot Act. Bush and Ashcroft had lawyers at the White House, Justice and Pentagon draft memoranda that, they claimed, permitted the President to do anything whatsoever under his role as commander-in-chief during wartime. Since Bush has declared that we are in a state of war and that he's a "war president," it then follows that whatever action the President takes, under this claim of acting as "commander-in-chief" in "wartime," must be permitted to stand as legal orders of the Executive.

Under this claim, the President can authorize "harsh interrogation methods" -- a euphemism for torture -- and the "disappearing" of various citizens and foreigners into secret jails, out of the reach of juridical oversight. Bush officials, apparently adopting these legal strategems as policy, have done both, and they really thought they would get away with it.

They are sorely mistaken. I and most of my colleagues on the bench do not appreciate it when the concept of judicial review, first established two hundred years ago with John Marshall and Marbury v. Madison, is dismissed by the Executive Branch as an outdated constitutional frill. Terrorism or no terrorism, this is still a society where no man, not even the President, is above the law -- not even if he wraps his grab for power in the name of "anti-terrorism."

We tried to get the message to him recently in the Hamdi and Guantanamo cases, where we said, in no uncertain terms, that while the President assumes, and should have, wide latitude during wartime, this special consideration was not a blanket right to unfettered behavior. Justice O'Connor wrote that the court has ''made clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens." And Justice Scalia wrote: "The very core of our liberty has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the executive."

In short, we sent Bush a very strong message. Which he and his advisers seemed to agree to, only to try to go around the import of the Court's rulings, by testing the limits of what they could get away with -- the way they're delaying our orders on the Guantanamo detainees, for example, and the way military tribunals are organized that makes them little more than show trials.

PRESIDENTS ARE NOT KINGS/DICTATORS

Richard Nixon tried to hide his crimes by claiming that any action taken by a President cannot, by the very fact that he is Chief Executive, be illegal -- but he learned quickly enough, when the Court rejected this extreme claim, that the Executive and Legislative Branches are always and forever subject to the Constitution, as interpreted by the Judicial Branch.

Now we learn that Bush's White House lawyers are asserting even more outrageous claims to power. Even though the Constitution grants the States power in determining and running their own election rules -- well, OK, we violated our own principles, but without setting precedent, in Bush v. Gore -- the Bush Administration claims that is has the power to cancel or postpone a general election (presumably when it appears it would lose) in the face of perceived "terrorist" threats. And, worse still, that it could partially cancel or postpone an election in certain states (presumably in states it would have lost) and be declared the winner based on a partial vote (presumably from states it would have won).

There is no way we could, or would, let that happen. If Bush and his cronies persist in creating a constitutional crisis, they will get one -- and not one they will find agreeable. Even the military may refuse to follow Bush's dictatorial orders.

In short, I'm writing this memo and circulating it (on a CONFIDENTIAL basis) to you and other key Republican business and governmental leaders because it's plain now, as it wasn't in 2000, that Bush and his crowd are inimicable to our best financial and political interests -- and the interest of the American people in general -- and must be stopped here and now before they can do even more damage.

This crew appears to be so power-hungry, and so incompetent in carrying out their radical programs, that only disaster will result if they gain a second term. If you agree with my prognosis, I urge you to move quickly to do whatever you can, and use whatever influence and funds you must, to ensure that Bush goes down to defeat on November 2.

KERRY IS NO DANGER TO US

Kerry ordinarily would not be our choice, but, if elected, he will be pretty much a toothless tiger, struggling so hard to undo the worst damage done by his predecessor, that he'll have little time or energy to devote to liberal mischief.

In the four years of a Kerry administration, we can regather our forces and select someone less obvious and more competent to run against him in 2008, re-asserting true conservative dominance in the years to come.

But unless we get rid of this crass, arrogant, reckless Bush crowd -- by a landslide defeat, so as to obviate any late "surprises" Karl Rove may have up his sleeve -- we, and the country, are in for a hellacious administration run amok with its ruthless power. Please let me know your thoughts, by courier delivery only. Thank you.



Posted by: ringmir

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/10/04 02:30 PM

The reference to "their Creator" in the declaration is an example of extremely well chosen wording. A creator can be someone's parental unit, it can be a god, or a pantheon of gods. "In God we Trust" is an example of extremely poorly chosen wording. If I tell you "I swear to God, I will do it." you would be a fool to believe me, because I don't believe in God. I don't trust in God to help me, I don't think God has any bearing at all on how my life progresses, or where I end up after it. I don't believe in the Christian God, or any other godlike figure(s). I am also not alone in this country in my belief, and it is ignorant of those in this country who do believe to make an officially endorsed statement that this country "trusts" or operates "under" *ANY* god, let alone the one specific capital-G God. Even if one firmly believes that I am a sinner for my lack of faith, and that I will go to hell for it, one should still be able to recognize that in this country I have the right to believe what I choose when it comes to religion, and the government should not take a position.

Would you be opposed to our currency saying "In Allah we Trust"? What about "In Vishnu we Trust" or "In Ra we Trust"? It just sounds ridiculous to even suggest such a thing. The more reasonable "In Science we Trust" is still pretty ridiculous. Now if the currency said "In Equality we Trust" I would be fine with that. Heck maybe even "In Righteousness we Trust."

Now then finally, "E pluribus unum" is another example of an outstanding choice of wording. That is what our country's sole motto should be. Consequently, I think it was kept as a motto and "In God we Trust" was added as an *additional* motto.
Posted by: Riffman

Re: National Guard Memos - 09/10/04 02:39 PM

I was referring to the piece that aired on CBS' 60 Minutes two nights ago. They had memos from Bush's superiors in the National Guard that indicated Bush received special treatment and skipped duties. CBS is standing by their story and said the memos are authentic as judged by their expert while three of the US' top experts believe the memo's are fake. CBS will not release the name of its expert. I wonder what the impact will be. I imagine that given the divided electorate, the story won't be a big deal.

Re the Rehnquist memo, that obviously has to be a fake. I am under the impression Supreme Court Justices are supposed to be devoid of any 'politiking'.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/10/04 04:47 PM

Actually, Jefferson also used the word "God" in the preamble to the Dec of Ind. Not that it matters.

Text of the 1st Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."

It seems like forbidding prayer in schools or otherwise restricting religous practices through an act of Congress, could be construed as "prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Just how you look at it I guess.




Posted by: Riffman

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/10/04 05:17 PM

I've read a lot of this thread and have found it interesting. I have a few questions:

pmbuko: you spoke of a need to truly understand why Islamic fanaticism is directed at westerners and at the US, in particular. And that if we understand properly, we can then start to make peace with the Islamists. What are those reasons for the rise of militant/terror Islam? My opinion on the situation is rather simple: small groups of fanatics seek to manipulate power and politics around the world by using terrorism. It simply doesn't matter if their reasons are right and just. Their world is a world of anarchy and there must be negative consequences to terror acts around the world. There must never be positive consequences to terror. What those people did in Spain with their vote can only further the anarchist method of power attainment which is: terror.

The Chechens might have a legitimate gripe due to many years of Stalinist oppression and their ethinic authenticity/homogeneity but they should never be rewarded with their own state because their methods. I have never been more disappointed the US government than when I saw our position and comments after Beslan (our call for a diplomatic solution). Bush doesn't understand terror and Kerry understands it even less. Spain and France understand even less (France's pleas to save their journalists because they didn't support the war proves how clueless they are).

spiff: I thought the cycle of violence emerged once again when Arafat started the second Intifada after he refused the settlement proposed by Clinton/Barak? Am I wrong? If so, how?

Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/10/04 05:17 PM

Really, PMB, I am disappointed. I didn't expect you to split hairs - you either deny any place in public life to the Eternal One or not.

You all may recall the recent case in Iran where the judge (a mullah) sentenced a 16 year old girl to death - she had been raped, and dissed the court with her "sharp tongue." You all will be very relieved to learn that the European-Iranian Human Rights Dialog Commission prevailed upon the Iranians to amend its sentence of death. The Iranian court had sentenced the girl to be executed by stoning. After the Europeans intervened, her sentenced was reduced to hanging. She was hanged from a crane in the center of town.

Now, PMB, let's hear you decry the central status of religion, Islam, in the Islamic Republic of Iran - or perhaps you would equate that unity of religion and civil law with the inclusion of the words "Under God" on our currency and in our children's morning pledge of allegiance.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/10/04 06:48 PM

In reply to:

Really, PMB, I am disappointed. I didn't expect you to split hairs - you either deny any place in public life to the Eternal One or not.


Splitting hairs?? Ringmir said what I should have said here:

"The reference to "their Creator" in the declaration is an example of extremely well chosen wording. A creator can be someone's parental unit, it can be a god, or a pantheon of gods."

Don't tell me I'm splitting hairs. This is not an all or nothing subject.

As far as the central status of Islam in Middle Eastern countries is concerned, of course I don't equate the inclusion of God in the U.S. with complete non-separation of religion and state in Iran. Religion/faith is completely meaningless unless it is voluntary. The alternative of enforced religion produces robots who understand the words on which the laws are based, but not the message of the text itself.

My desire to strike the existence of "Under God" and "In God We Trust" from pledge and currenty has more to do with them being added with such ridiculous justifications.

And while we're speaking about the pledge, boiled down to its essence it is a pledge of allegiance to the flag and to the USA, nothing else. The Under God part is just a tacked-on prepositional phrase, so I don't feel imposed upon that it's there. That wasn't my objection in the first place.
Posted by: ringmir

church and state - 09/10/04 07:26 PM

2x6, is this Iran? No, clearly it isn't. I don't see how mentioning that story makes any point against the separation of church and state. The point here is very simple: The government of this country has a commitment to not intermix religion and politics. The presence of those phrases on our currency and in our pledge clearly violate that. I notice nobody went near my hypothetical "In Science we Trust." I don't need to ask why nobody went near it, it's clearly a stupid suggestion. What makes the phrase "In God we Trust" any different? To me it sounds as stupid as "In Science we Trust" and I, personally, trust in Science. Do people not comment on it because perhaps they trust in God? There's absolutely nothing wrong with that if they do, but it is niether my place nor the government's place to be concerned about it. I personally have no problem with our children saying the pledge of alleigance in school, as long as no part of that pledge relates to God. What if I were extremely religious, let's say an American Muslim. Would I like it if my children had to say that pledge every day? What if they were forced to recite the Creed, or the Lord's Prayer? I'd be pretty f'n pi$$ed about it I think. And with good reason, they should not be forced to pledge to any higher power that they do not believe in.

This is not even a remotely cloudy issue, there is no fuzzy line, nobody glasses should be fogged up. Separation of Church and State. End of story.

Edit: I should add perhaps... It is perfectly fine, in deed I would expect, that the government acknowledge the presence of religion in this country. I have no problem with that. What is not fine is for the government to publicly endorse any religion, in any way. And that is what both of these phrases do.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: Just because I'm a pacifist - 09/10/04 07:48 PM

Sorry for responding to something this far back, but I have just now come back to see responses to my post.

BigJohn & Jorge - What I find amusing is how people with their own agendas maintain close minds and do not consider all points of view before dismissing them as Partisan.

Fellow members had put something out there as fact, so I posted a link to someone's analysis that made a very solid case for why those assertions were ill-informed. Rather than say "hmmm...I've used this argument before, but it may not be entirely correct. Perhaps I should do some research for myself to make sure that the points that I am making are valid." (yes, I know that you guys didn't make the assertions), what you guys do is take the easy route and simply write off what you have read as partisan bunk.

This is no longer directed at you two guys.....I've said it before that I used to be your garden-variety bleeding heart making arguments based upon sound-byte statements/positions of others. That changed in time as I began to realize that I couldn't maintain those arguments when faced with someone who had facts to support their positions. After this rude awakening, I began to hold back on arguments until I had actual facts to back up my positions. In the process of doing this, I began to realize that my original positions didn't in fact have sound factual backing to support them. I had bit hook line and sinker on someone's line of BS and then in turn propogated that message. In then end, the biggest lesson I learned is not that the Left or Right are full of crap (though they are )....it's that one should always question any and all assertions made by others. As in science, no conclusion should be accepted as truth until it has going through the necessary scrutiny/peer-review. This is an understanding that a large segment of our society is lacking. Our politicians are fully aware of this fact and use it regularly to disperse misinformation and distortions.

Is Michael Moore allowed to do the same?....of course. But, when people make a concerted effort to clarify his disceptive and unfounded assertions, you should be spend less time attacking them for doing so and focus more on the fact that you perhaps bought into those disceptions and then consider how you can avoid being deceived in the future.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: church and state - 09/10/04 08:01 PM

"This is not even a remotely cloudy issue, there is no fuzzy line, nobody glasses should be fogged up. Separation of Church and State. End of story."

Well, as you can see above the Constitution does not use the phrase "separation of church and state". That phrase is contained in a lower court ruling, I believe (didn't somebody link us to that info a while back?). How one interprets the Constitution is always debatable.

I'm not sure when I became less threatened by all the religion around us. I used to get all worked up about bumper stickers, the pledge of allegiance, etc... Doesn't really bother me anymore. I do roll my eyes frequently, though.

IMO, those who proclaim their faith the loudest have the least faith in their convictions. Prosteltyzing (sp?), and participating in organized religion, reaffirms one's own faith, but is likely not actually motivated by the need to recruit more believers. It seems to be that the weaker your faith the more affirmation you need.

Regardless, I believe that many, many, many people have come to the conclusion that there is no god. They either recoil from that realization and all that it entails, seeking solace in their former faith (hence the need to practice religion); or they tackle the angst of a godless existence (no easy task); or they try to forget the whole subject.
Some random questions:

Maybe you guys that are offended by religous references are in that last category? Are you really going to tell your small children something different from what all the other kids are hearing? What are the psychological effects on children raised in atheist housholds in predominately religous communities? What are the psychological effects on children raised with atheism, period? Can a 5 year old deal with the notion that there is no greater meaning to his existence? a 12 year old? 18 yr old?

Hope I don't sound like I'm preaching.
Posted by: ringmir

Re: church and state - 09/10/04 08:30 PM

BigWill, let me clear up a few things about my position on this.

I don't go through life angst ridden about the fact that the pledge contains "under God." In fact I say it when I recite the pledge, and kinda chuckle to myself that it's stupid. I also don't scribble over "In God we Trust" on every piece of currency that passes through my hands. In fact I am generally blind to it even being there. So, don't get the impression that it bothers me significantly, because it doesn't. What does bother me is when that issue reaches the supreme court and they refuse to hear the case. The way I see it, they should just resolve it and go on. It shouldn't be an issue. The official report regarding it should say something like "HA! how did that get there...yeah take that off."

My kids will be free to follow any religion they want. I will not tell them there is no greater power. I will tell them what I believe, and objectively inform them about any religion they want to know about to the best of my ability. If they truly believe in some religion, then I will support that belief. My father was a Greek Orthodox priest, I was an altar boy for years, I went to church camp. My mother was a Quaker (they are divorced), and I went to Quaker meeting with her. I had religion classes in a private school where they objectively discussed many world religions, and the associated beliefs. I went out with the daughter of a protestant minister for two years. I went out with an American Indian girl for three years. My current girlfriend is a Bangladeshi from a Muslim family. I've studied the ancient Greeks in detail.

After a while, I pretty much decided that none of it was for me. I liked math, chemistry, and the theory of evolution. I am perfectly content with my position on religion. I don't need or try to convince people I am correct, I don't even believe I am "correct" except "correct for myself." I know that it is not my place to question someone's religious beliefs, however radical they may be. Each individual has the right to believe whatever they choose. Acting upon those beliefs is a different story of course, but holding them is an inalienable human right.

A person's religion or associated beliefs are a personal aspect of who they are. It is a mistake for the government to assume they can state "In God *we* Trust" where "we" is clearly refering to Americans as a whole. I don't understand how anyone can disagree with this. Is there anyone who can provide a solid argument for why this slogan *should* be on our currency? Please fill me in if so!
Posted by: ringmir

Re: church and state - 09/10/04 08:53 PM

And BigWill, this is Amendment I on the Bill of rights:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Emphasis here should be drawn to "no law respecting an establishment of religion." The statement "In God we Trust" is blantantly with respect to a particular establishment of religion. And if you choose to read it differently, "In God we Trust" establishes a particular religion to be the one that Americans believe.

This link is a letter from Thomas Jefferson in which he states his interpretation of that first amendment to be there should be "a wall of separation between church and state." Note that when he says "religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god" he uses the lowercase, and this does reflect his exact spelling and punctuation.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: church and state - 09/10/04 08:54 PM

LOL My extended family is devout Missionary Baptist. Hellfire, spartan churches, no fun at all.
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/11/04 10:26 PM

In reply to:

"It follows that a necessary condition for fundamental rights is a distinction between what the government -- in the wide sense of the term -- says is so and what is true. That is, in order for me to understand that I have fundamental rights, it must be possible for me to have the following thought: that even though everyone else in my community thinks that, for example, same-sex marriages should be outlawed, people of the same sex still have a right to be married.




So, we could extrapolate that even though everyone else in my community thinks that drunk people peeing on on other peoples' front lawns while walking home from the bar at 2AM should be outlawed, drunk people still have the right to relieve themselves anywhere they can.

OR

Even though everyone else in my community thinks that people breaking into other people's homes to steal for food, or anything else, poor people still have the right to some of the "public wealth".

OR

Even though everyone else in my community thinks that car jacking is wrong, poeple who don't have cars deserve to ride in one once in a while.

The author is simply trying to blur the distinction between right and wrong. He obviously feels that society is doomed to continue degrading at it's current rate, and is trying to justify why we shouldn't make any attempts to correct it. It's a clear case of fear of success.
Posted by: TurboDog1

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/11/04 11:12 PM

Michael,

I think that the one thing that you are missing is that all of the things that you referenced involve actions that infringe on the rights of others. This is not the case with gay marriage.

I think that this is a line that the majority of people in the conservative side of these issues don't understand. The point of government is to secure our borders, guarantee our freedom, and to defend our personal liberties. When someone endangers our personal liberties, government and the law are there to defend us. However, the government is not there to infringe on our personal liberties because the majority disagrees with our actions. This is a simple core concept of our democracy that the bulk of our society doesn't get.....otherwise, there would be a thriving Libertarian party.
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/11/04 11:13 PM

In reply to:

Help establish a nation for the Palestinians, and Pack up and get the hell out of the Middle East?


Palestine is NOT where Israel as we know it today, is. They really belong somewhere in (or mostly in) Jordan. Their beloved Arab bretheren said, "No way Habib. And don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out." So now they wander around looking for a homeland. Guess what they can't do? Attack another Arab nation. Hmmm... That leaves just one target for them, Israel.

If you think Iraq was a bad idea, are missing one thing. Saddam was the sole military "power" in the region that prevented the Israelis from actually defending themselves. He was the hammer waiting to drop on them if they stepped over the line. The result was a stalemate, a constant string of bombings and retaliations.

The removal of Saddam simply cleared the way for a little payback.

Ask yourself just one question. Is there any doubt that if the suicide bombings were to stop, that Israel would also cease military operations? No. You'd have peace. The Arabs need to straighten up, and help locate the Palestinians locate themselves where they really belong, and leave Israel alone.

Until then. Israel has only one option. Peace through superior firepower. It works. Cold war?
Posted by: Michael_A

Re: Just because I'm a warmonger - 09/11/04 11:31 PM

In reply to:

I'm genuinely curious to hear that you think.




"Ilias Akhmadov, foreign minister in the self-styled but unrecognized government of Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov, said that he was informed this week that he has been officially granted political asylum by authorities in Boston."

OK. #1. - "authorities in Boston" - enough said - look at the other crud coming out of Massachusettes.

#2 - Nowhere does it say that President Bush ever weighed in on the matter. For all we know, the Russians never got past the State Department. I guess it depends on who in Moscow called...
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/12/04 02:22 AM

Michael, your extrapolations don't work at all. Peeing on someone else's property, breaking and entering, and car jacking all violate the rights of others. Gay marriage does not infringe on anyone else's rights (beat me to it, Turbodog). And frankly, comparing gay marriage to such criminal activities as car jacking and breaking and entering is more than a little offensive.
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/12/04 08:01 AM

Definition of marriage: "The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife." This is from the American Heritage Dictionary. The same dictionary may also be forced to add: " A union between two persons having the customary but usually not the legal force of marriage: a same sex marriage". This can be looked up, and American Dictionary just reacts to what they are "told" things mean. For those who are not paying attention, I will be blunt. "THERE IS NO DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE TODAY THAT INCLUDES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE... PERIOD".

The irony, to me, is marriage was always a religious-based institution from which governments (recently, in the overall scheme of things) decided THEY should profit. So they started Charging a fee to issue marriage licenses.

To all those demanding a separation of church and state, the government has no business being NEAR marriage. But, the government IS involved in marriage as a profitable business.

AdamP88, I agree that comparing Gay Marriage to Car Jacking is not a "fair" comparison. But I disagree with the assertion that it will not affect other's rights.

For example, as a business owner, I provide, to the spouse/children of employees, health insurance. Under the concept of Gay Marriage, I would be forced, by law, to pay for "His Husband's" health insurance. Note the word FORCED, that is an infringement on my rights TO RUN MY BUSINESS. And anyone will be able, under gay marriage, to head to the local magistrate, get married, and show up at my door with a demand that I add his "new husband" to "his" benefits package.

Should my state adopt "same sex" marriage, I would immediately eliminate all employee benefit programs. Not because I have a problem with the so called "gay lifestyle", but because I know what the outcome would be: I, and many other small business owners, would be placed in a position of paying for more scams than you can imagine.

The cost to the Social Security system would be enormous, as surviving SPOUSES receive benefits based on the earnings of the deceased spouse. There are other examples... but enough for now.

NOW ... Let us look at the current laws which DO affect my rights...

An employer can be sued for firing someone. It is called discrimination, but there is no "right" to have a job, so nobody's "rights" were eliminated. Since someone else was hired to take the fired person's place, the net effect on society is NIL... SO, based on the assertion that my hiring decisions do NOT infringe on anybody's "rights", There should be NO discrimination laws in the US.

I know several have already agreed with this, but for a reminder, drug use and prostitution should be legal. And ALL drug use, not just "naturally grown" drugs... afterall, noone's "rights" are being eliminated here, either, by someone smoking "crack"

Public Nudity laws also have to go... while peeing on property is trespassing, walking the streets naked is not.

If we are going to base legal decisions on "whether or not something infringes on someone else's rights" ... there will be a LOT of laws tossed out.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/12/04 11:21 AM

craigsub, you are very frequently correct about a good many things - and it is true that recognizing gay marriages or gay civil unions would drive costs up for businesses - but I don't think there would be any more scams than there are now. Are you suggesting that all the single guys you employ are going to "marry" their buddies to get them benefits? LOL

If the gov't stopped issuing marriage licenses and left that to the churches, then any church that married same sex couples would immediately be put in one category by the public, and those that deny same sex marriages in another category. The illegitimate churches would certainly feel some fallout from the public.

I personally don't care where anyone wants to stick their pecker, and I have no opposition to the civil union concept or in leaving the decision to individual churches, but it seems silly for gay Christians to want "holy matrimony" when the Bible seems to condemn homosexuality (just judging by all the Biblical citations I see in the paper, haven't actually read much of the book myself ).
Posted by: craigsub

Re: Shooting children in the back? - 09/12/04 11:37 AM

BigWill... Based on what I have seen in worker's co